Mobile music streaming providers will have 161 million subscribers by 2016, new research has suggested.
According to a study conducted by ABI Research, which focused on services for mobile handsets, cloud music streaming offered by the likes of Rhapsody and Spotify will become more popular and significant than purchasing albums or songs.
The company said that subscribers to cloud music services for mobile devices will grow at a rate of 95 per cent annually and reach 161 million by the end of 2016. Mobile music streaming providers are predicted to have acquired 5.9 million subscribers by the end of 2011.
ABI Research also predicted that sometime in 2012, the Asia-Pacific region will become the largest market for cloud music streaming services.
Neil Strother, a researcher with ABI, said in a statement to Digital Media Wire, “Forecasts of declining prices are based on the assumption that the rights-holders will lower their royalty demands.”
“Record labels and collecting societies should not overplay their hands when it comes to royalty issues. If consumers do not have convenient and affordable legal alternatives, they will simply enjoy their music by other means,” he added.
The company predicted that consumers will be the biggest winners of the market shift, followed by vendors and service providers who offer music streaming services.