The State of Music Monetization


Credit: RossinaBossioB

Who’s paying for what? We’ve been getting hit with a lot of subscriber updates here and there, including a few at MidemNet this weekend. So here’s the latest monetization intelligence, please share if we’ve missed something!


  • Paying Subscribers: 750,000 (per Spotify, shared immediately after Sony (NYSE: SNE) Music US signing this month.)
  • Subscriber Mix: 90% paying full premiums (source: Digital Music News, citing European partner sources late last year)
  • Royalty Payouts43 million ($58.5 million) in 2010 (source: Spotify, shared with this month).


  • Paying Subscribers: 750,000 (per Rhapsody president John Irwin, January 20th).
  • Of note: Increase of 100,000 since April, 2010; RNWK estimates broader US music subscription market at 1.5 million).


Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) UK

  • 100,000 paying music subscribers (per Vodafone content services director Lee Epting at MidemNet 2011).
  • Of note: Global goal is 1 million by 2012.

Sirius XM (NSDQ: SIRI) Radio

  • Paying Subscribers: 20 million+ (per company, threshold accomplished December, 2010)
  • Monthly Subscription Cost: $12.95 (or higher)

Nokia’s Comes With Music


  • Financial Status: Profitable (as of late-2009, per CEO Tim Westergren)
  • Registered users: 65 million (per Westergren, October 2010)
  • Active users: 25 million (in September, 2010), average monthly sessions at 11 hours.


  • Paying Subscribers: Company will not disclose to Digital Music News.  No other sources or information at present.


  • Paying Subscribers: More than 200,000 paying $4-5 monthly (source: Slacker, to Digital Music News late last year)


  • Paid Song Downloads: 10 billion, cumulative since mid-2003 (source: Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), reported February, 2010)
  • Broader Story: In the US, a-la-carte downloads gained a modest 1 percent to 1.172 billion, per Nielsen Soundscan.  Digital albums gained 13 percent to 86.3 million.  The global picture appears more healthy, though also primed for plateau.


  • Paying Subscribers: 400,000 (per eMusic to Digital Music News, November 15th).
  • Of note: Zero growth since 2007.


Chris Bagley has been live for a few months now. You can get music and video via streaming or download, and pay per download, per view, per file or per month. Subscribers generally choose a particular musician’s channel, though it might be possible to subscribe to FargoTube as a whole.


at the end of January the platform “” goes online. they offer music in different genres in high end audio quality.

Antony Watts

Are any of these, or anyone else, offering better than MP3 quality. Seems to me we need a site that at least offers lossless CD quality and upwards (24/96?).

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