Playing music is part of civilized humanity. Music is so important to us humans and has been for thousands of years, the last 20 of which have seen an incredible shift; online streaming music. What started out as music piracy became an 11 billion dollar industry, making up 56 percent of global music industry revenues in 2019. And one company has become the clear winner globally in terms of paid subscribers. Spotify is where everyone is at.
We all know that Spotify is by far the most successful audio streaming platform in the world.In fact, even during the pandemic itself, the stock price of Spotify went up by 70%. Now, on the outside if you look at the numbers while Apple Music has only 72 million users Spotify has more than 345 million users and the rest of the competition is not even close.. On top of that, its recommendation and playlist have been so amazing that you’ll agree that it has given you an incredible experience every single time But you know what guys? Fortunately or unfortunately, in 2021, Spotify is in deep-deep trouble. While on one side the losses of the company have been stacking up rapidly On the other side with the giants entering the streaming market. Spotify is officially in a business war.And what we are witnessing right now is perhaps one of the most interesting Internet business wars in history. And if you pay very close attention you’ll be able to learn some incredible business lessons that you can apply to your startup and most importantly, as an investor, if you’re invetsing into US stocks. this streaming war is going to be very very crucial. The question is- What is this business war and most importantly as an entrepreneur, what are the business lessons that you can learn from this iconic case study.People, the music streaming revolution of the world started way back in.Now, back then from 1984 to 1999 CDs were the ultimate instrument of the music industry. The distribution channels of the music CDs made the record labels and musicians billions of dollars every single year.the Internet and the computer revolution began to pick up resulting into massive penetration of both, computers and web, into the American houselhold. Now, people if you see this is a fine culmination of technology and connectivity and if you observe closely every time this golden combination happens, it gives rise to a new generation of startups. In the music industry, it was the company called Napster which was started way back in 1999 35 by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. In simple words Napster was nothing but a music torrent instead of buying a CD for 20 dollars. you can download an MP3 file for free and share it with your friends And you know what guys? This invention was a disruption in the making because what followed next was the first wave of music streaming. And this wave did not just change the way people listen to music. it literally changed the entire music industry. Within a few months it had 4 million song downloads and in less than a year, Napster had 20 million users. Now, initially, people thought that it’s no big deal. But in sometime, the numbers of Napster exploded further, to 60 millions users by 2001. 47 And this is when the record labels began to realize that their stores are incurring losses and when they actually computed it shocked them to see that they were incurring more than $100 million in losses due to Napster.
Taking on behemoths like Apple, Amazon and Google, Spotify has dominated the streaming music industry with about 130 million premium subscribers worldwide, despite being number two behind Apple in the U.S., according to data from 2019. Spotify has been on a winning streak recently with the acquisition of Joe Rogan’s incredibly popular podcast, along with exclusive deals with Kim Kardashian and DC Comics, all in an attempt to broaden its scope from music streaming to audio giant. The companies that we bought and the talent that we have brought onto the platform will help us become the number one audio platform in the world. And the devastating global pandemic has also contributed to Spotify’s recent financial gains. Boom. Look at this stock verse three two hundred for first time and it just keeps surging. Linear radio is moving to on demand. We’re talking about something that has billions of consumers around the world that are now moving their behaviors online.
Something like the Covid will likely accelerate that trend. But Spotify had an uphill battle from music rights to artists demanding fair pay. This is the story of how a small Swedish startup came to define the way we listen to music in the digital age and what we can expect in the future.
The Internet has changed so many aspects of media consumption, but few have had a more tumultuous relationship with these changes than the music industry. I don’t believe we’re talking about streaming music if it’s not for Napster and Sean and everything they did. CDs became the standard medium in the 1990s. At the same time, home computers were becoming more commonplace. Many with disk drives built in, allowing users to take their favorite CDs and rip them on to their devices as MP3 files. This made way for peer to peer music sharing or music piracy through platforms like Napster and LimeWire. If you look at Napster and of course other competitors that followed, it really disenfranchised the industry. Apple, having had great success with iTunes and the iPod, decided to start selling music digitally on iTunes in 2003 as a way to charge into the music industry and combat music piracy. It’s not stealing anymore. It’s good karma. iTunes was the first legal attempt of saying, OK, what Napster is doing is piracy and it is the wild, wild west. How can we start to look at digital downloads? Would people pay 99 cents for a song to be able to have access to it? And it succeeded. It was all about downloads.
It’s all about iTunes. iTunes was the driving force. It in turn, destroyed other music selling businesses, knocking out Tower Records and almost every other music store. This was a tough pill to swallow for the music industry as a whole. During the 90s, the money was still flowing. The advances I would get, they would spend a million dollars on the promotion of my singles. Me. Like, someone who doesn’t even write mainstream stuff. Then the Internet put a stop to that. The industry was so used to big margins. To sell a CD for 20 bucks and it only cost one dollars to manufacture. So the margins were huge. And then go from that to OK, now albums are 9.99 at iTunes, those margins started to depleat. And for music lovers who wanted their music for free, radio was still a resource they cherished. Online radio company Pandora claimed some of that market when it launched in 2000 and 10 years later, it had 48 million subscribers. I remember when everyone I know was trying to tweet their Pandora stations. I had it on my phone all the time, was like, oh, like this station becomes this, and it was cool. But pirating was still an issue. A 2007 study concluded that twelve point five billion dollars in total output was lost in the U.S. annually because of music piracy.And radio was great, but users wanted to choose their music. That left the market open for a small Swedish company to make its way in. We want music to be like water, everywhere.
How and when Spotify started
Spotify was founded in 2006 and made its way to the U.S. in 2011. It started with an invite only beta program for the free tier and quickly garnered favorable reviews. But it faced an uphill battle to the top. It was getting the rights. It was convincing subscribers to get onto the platform. These were extremely difficult times for Spotify to make sure that they were able to nab the content, especially at that time. One reason for the company’s delayed entry into the U.S. market was because of music rights. It’s a complicated business that costs Spotify nine point eight billion dollars between its launch in 2018. They made that risky bet at the time. They’re like, look. We know we’re going to lose money, but that’s what we’re going to need to do, if our investors support it, for music rights, given the price, given content. Once we acquire that content, it’s the carrot and stick approach in terms of subscribers would come. Clearly, the company was onto something and that piqued the curiosity of some major brands. Now it seems every major tech player has its own music streaming platform.
Best Competetors of Spotify
Apple dropped iTunes and created Apple Music. Amazon created Amazon Music. Google created Google Play Music and then YouTube Music. Jay-Z even formed his own service called Tidal, which focused on professional sound quality. But Spotify kept its spot at the top thanks to its freemium model, where users can listen for free with ads or pay for a subscription without ads. We believe in a true free service. We believe in something where the user knows that they can go back month and month and month, month again and have access to your music.
Spotify vs Other music plattform
By the end of 2019, Apple Music had 60 million paid subscribers worldwide. Amazon Music had 55 million subscribers worldwide, nearly all of which were paying subscribers. Chinese company Tencent had thirty nine point nine million paying subscribers, while Spotify had one hundred and twenty four million paying subscribers. It was about free going premium. Conversion was key, and I think Spotify was really the one that started that.
Platforms like Apple Music are more exclusionary, forcing customers to pay after their free trial is up. Apple even tried to kill Spotify’s free version back when Apple Music launched. Free just makes sense for customers, which is a major reason why Spotify is so popular today. But free isn’t so great for musicians. The ad dollars are actually less than the premium subscriptions. But Apple Music, Tidal, those platforms, you get your free trial, but you have to pay. So it’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re looking at your statement saying, dang, Apple Music. Should I focus my energy on Apple Music because this is where the money is? Or do I still go with Spotify because that’s where the users are? Spotify gained popularity, artists started to wonder why they weren’t seeing the financial gains they were used to with CD sales and downloads. Taylor Swift boycotted Spotify in 2014, pulling all of her music off the service and saying she and other artists weren’t being paid enough for each stream. Adele followed suit in 2015, announcing her album 25 would not be released on Spotify or Apple Music. The term windowing became popular, where artists would only release an album on a certain platform or would not stream an album at all for a certain amount of time. So a lot of artists window the records where it wasn’t on Spotify, say, for a certain period of time but on Apple Music. Kanye West was known for this with Tidal. Taylor Swift and Adele both released their albums on Spotify eventually, but it opened streaming services up to questions about how much they were paying their artists per stream. Spotify and Apple both don’t release exactly how much they pay distributors per stream, but it has been reported that Spotify pays around 70 percent of the revenue made on a stream.
people listen to my music on Spotify. That makes me happy. Now, I know there people aren’t getting paid for that, and that makes me sad. But I think that that’s a systemic, technological, capitalistic, human issue. And you have to go back 300 years and look at how a musician was making their living for their intellectual property in 1901.
How Spotify stocks increased?
In 2019, Spotify announced it was moving its music focus to a more general audio focus to broaden its offerings and widen its global lead on competitors. It acquired the Joe Rogan Experience early in 2020 and penned exclusive podcast deals with Kim Kardashian and DC Comics. The Spotify’s stock jumped eight percent at the announcement of the Joe Rogan acquisition alone. A year ago, when I was on the show last time, I introduced the shifts in our strategy from music to audio. At that time, we were a very small player in audio, but growing fast. Now, where the number one player in more than 20 markets around the world and quickly catching up in the markets where we’re not number one. That’s where Spotify is taking the future right now, and analysts believe it can ride that wave for a bit. Ninety percent of our monetization is on the subscription side. But 10 percent is on the ad side, and we do think that there is real growth opportunity for us in the ad space, particularly with podcasts. Just after these podcast deals were penned, the global pandemic started taking its toll on the economy. But Spotify was one of the few companies that weathered the storm. In fact, Spotify stock increased 70 percent from the beginning of January 2020 to the end of June 2020. They benefited from Covid because the lockdown’s forced people to stop listening to radio and they discovered Spotify while stuck at home. Of course, yes. If your Spotify, you’d much rather make money from the podcast acquisitions and that then having to pay 60 to 70 cents for every dollar to Universal or Sony. But in order to stay at the top, Spotify is going to have to stay nimble and quick.
Competitors like Tencent are already adding features like karaoke to their streaming music platforms. Tencent, at least, is on that path from a gamification perspective. So I do think that that is an opportunity for Spotify to keep in mind, like, yes, it’s great that you got Joe Rogan. It’s great that you’ve got Bill Simmons. But look at those opportunities as well. Even though it’s a different market, I think there’s a big opportunity there. Nevertheless, Spotify is still very much a success story. Today, they’re sitting there thinking their cappuccino laughing as they see this success.
is spotify a good stock to buy?
The stock of Spotify is a Buy. This is a classic investment case of “short-term pain, long-term gain.” SPOT’s near-term profitability will be harmed by increased spending to build the podcast industry.
Is Spotify a good investment?
Spotify is now trading at even lower rates than it was during the nadir of the pandemic market meltdown of 2020, following a massive devaluation in 2021. This could signal a “buy the dip” opportunity for SPOT. SPOT is down about 25% year to far, and it’s down 35% from its all-time high of $365 per share in February 2021.
why is spotify stock dropping?
However, not long after its stock peaked, Spotify rightly predicted that covid-19 uncertainty and unequal pandemic recovery would make 2021 a difficult year. As the number of monthly active users reduced, the stock price dropped practically continuously throughout the year.