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FREEMIUM VS. PREMIUM IN BLIGHTY

The paid-for streaming market in the U.K. is fast catching up with the freemium market, according to a survey on consumption from the Entertainment Retailers Association, which suggests that the former could overtake the latter by year-end. As of November last year, 21.5% of those surveyed stream for free, while 20.6% pay.

Those free streamers are down 0.2% on 2017, while premium users are up 2.3%.

Free streaming tiers count ad-funded, free trials and those who are one a family license paid for by somebody else. Paid counts single, paid family, student discount and bundled licenses.

The data comes from ERA’s entertainment survey which has quizzed a panel of 1,500 people on how they consume music video and games, tracking changing service and format preferences, every quarter for the past five years.

In the under-25 age group, there’s been an 18.3% drop in those listening to music on free streaming tiers year-on-year, and a 3.3% rise in the under 25s who paid for streaming subscriptions. That disparity is due to a reduction in the under 25s who access both free and paid-for services, with fewer selecting free last year, suggesting steady transition to subscription-only tiers. In 2018, 57.1% of the under 25s surveyed pay for a streaming subscription as of November 2018, and 45.7% are on free tiers (meaning 2.8% are on both, vs. 17.8% in 2017). 

Of those surveyed, more men use streaming services, the majority of whom pay—24.2% (up 4.5%) vs. 23.9% free (up 2.2%). For females the stats sway the other way, with 19.1% on free tiers and 16.8% on paid. However, the former dropped 2.6% while paid stayed the same.

In the 25-44 and 35-44 age groups, paid is the winner, while free rules for 45-54 and 55+.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley welcomed the news, saying, “What is all the more remarkable is that the likes of Spotify and YouTube also offer fantastic free services, funded by advertising. These figures suggest that music fans increasingly believe that the added features offered by paid-for services, and the curation which enables them to navigate literally millions of tracks, are definitely worth the money. Streaming has made it fashionable to pay for music again.

“The figures indicate that the next battleground for streaming services is female and older music fans. Paid-for streaming has clearly yet to reach its full potential.”

Check out the full stats below.

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