Streaming Music Mobile Apps: Part 2

Part 2 of our look at streaming music apps since Apple's release of Apple Music in June, 2015.

Title Image for Streaming Music Mobile Apps: SmackDown 2015 Part 2

In our prior “Round 1” blog entry on Apple's impending move into streaming music, back in June, we used a range of features from Sensor Tower’s Mobile Market Intelligence solutions to size up the pre-launch landscape of the top tier of mobile app players in the streaming music category in Apple’s App Store.

Now that it's been a few months, it seemed like a good time to look back at the mayhem on iOS. Some of the early results are actually quite surprising.

The Contendors?

From Round 1, we divided the contenders into two groups, and we used Sensor Tower’s Sensor Tower's Store Intelligence Platform, to get a comprehensive look at download momentum for each of these apps.

Title Image for Streaming Music Mobile Apps: SmackDown 2015

For those of you with access to Sensor Tower's Store Intelligence Platform, here are two URLs that capture this top- and second-tier collection of apps:

Note: We continue to use download estimates as a primary performance metric. Though revenue estimates are also available from Store Intelligence – they only cover revenue collected through App Store specifically, and since some streaming music apps monetize outside of the App Store, we wanted a clear apples-apples metric across all apps.

Top Tier Winners & Losers - US-Only

Looking at our top tier players in the US-only since June 30, some of the results are quite intriguing:

  • Beats Music - Obviously as the Beats service was replaced by Apple directly, we see an instant drop in the US (and globally). Beats US downloads have logically gone to zero.

  • Pandora - The effect of the Apple's launch on Pandora seems quite strong & negative, likely based on Pandora’s primary focus on the US – Apple’s home turf. Overall, we see an immediate 25K+ decrease in download velocity in the first few weeks for Pandora, after Apple’s streaming music launched, with minimal recovery in the following month. That leaves Pandora hovering in the mid-to-low 60K downloads per day, on average, but falling recently to near 50K.

  • Spotify - In the US, we still see some impact on Spotify, but less pronounced than Pandora. Time will tell how Spotify responds to Apple’s global expansion, but they appear to be maintaining a neutral-to-positive trend in the US at just above 50K downloads per day.

  • SoundCloud - Though SoundCloud experienced a post-launch dip after Apple's launch, it appears to have recovered modest growth, perhaps supported by its slightly different focus on free-to-share Indy music, audio, and podcasts, from amateur creators and professionals alike. Still, SoundClound is not entirely immune from the dynamics of the heavy-weights in the streaming music space, and may face turbulence as intellectual property challenges for digital content sharing loom.

  • iHeart Radio – Despite a short depression, iHeart Radio has maintained its former momentum in the US, and even increased its downloads slightly, hovering around 20K downloads per day.

  • Amazon Music – Not surprisingly, despite already low download rates, Amazon Music has faded gradually after the Apple Music launch. The positive effect of “Amazon Prime Day” on July 15th can clearly be seen, though its jump in downloads was not long lived.

lt="Chart Showing Direct Comparison of Annual Downloads for Top Tier Music Streaming iOS Apps in the US-only

Top Tier - Non-US (Rest of World)

For the rest of the world, Apple’s impact can still be seen, though the only relevant players are clearly Spotify and SoundCloud, for the time being. Pandora barely registers outside of the US, and despite a one-time spike for Amazon in July – again likely a more global promotion event of some kind – Amazon is not surprisingly irrelevant on iOS.

lt="Chart Showing Direct Comparison of Annual Downloads for Top Tier Music Streaming iOS Apps outside of the US

Second Tier - Global

In our second tier we see more downward pressure from a global view, with the continual slide taking down all members of this second tier to below 5K downloads per day. The only exception being Guvera, which has improved its momentum outside of the US. It is worth noting that various services like Google Play and Rhapsody Music attempted promotions in the run-up to the June 30th launch of Apple's new service. The resulting increase in downloads is evident in their respective spikes, but their new momentum clearly did not sustain.

  • Rdio, Songza, Blinkbox, Rhapsody, SlackerRadio, TuneIn Radio, and Google Play Music have all lost download momentum on iOS globally since August 1 2015.

  • Guvera Music seems to be picking up steam since Apple’s launch on iOS. Though a bit sporadic, their overall climb continues, likely driven by growth outside of the US.

lt="Chart Showing Direct Comparison of Annual Downloads for Second Tier Music Streaming iOS Apps

What's next for Apple? Google?

As expected, Apple's launch had certain impact in the US, and globally for lesser players in the streaming music and audio space. Spotify remains the strong counter to Apple's move with a more global reach and a clear will to compete on multiple platforms. Guvera will be interesting to watch - it has a long way to go to reach Spotify's momentum, but shows consistent growth and, if its trend continues, has a shot at playing a strong third, on the iOS platform at least.

But what about Google? In our next look, we'll drill into Google's "Play" on their own platform, especially once Apple deploy's their android-version of Apple Music. That's certainly when things will get more interesting. Check back in a few months to see how Round 3 shakes out.

Interested in learning more about how to get download and revenue estimates for mobile apps? Schedule a Store Intelligence demo with our team, and we'll show you how!

Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?

Jeff Yates

Written by: Jeff Yates, VP of Operations

Date: September 2015

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