Co-founder and CEO of WiFi-speaker company Sonos, John MacFarlane, published an article in Music Business Worldwide, in which he documents that 92% of all Listening through Sonos speakers is streamed, not owned music. Sonos connected speakers can play downloaded files (owned music) and many online music services (streamed music).
“Over the past 10 years, we at Sonos have had the privilege of a front-row seat as streaming music has evolved,” MacFarlane wrote. His belief is that streaming music has reached a crucial tipping point — a sea change from ownership to access [that] is comparable only to the invention of recorded music itself.”
That’s a powerful comparison, matched by a powerful projection that by 2021 one-billion people around the world will be streaming.
Pandora accounts for half of all listening on Sonos devices. In Sweden, home country of Spotify, 90% of Sonos customers use Spotify Premium.
MacFarlane evangelizes all types of streaming — Internet radio, global subscription services, niche categories of music. Not unexpectedly, he believes that in-home listening will drive future growth, and notes this metric: Sonos user listen to 78% more music than before they wired their homes with Sonos products. He thinks of connected devices as essential pipes in the digital consumer lifestyle: “With smart speakers and smartphones in the middle, artists can enjoy a creative conduit to mining the power of streaming.”