MIDiA Research released its predictions for 2017. Building on some of the major trends seen in 2016, the expectations for the coming year cover several aspects of the audio industry.
First, a few music highlights. The report predicts streaming music to continue its strong growth. “2016 was a big year for streaming, and 2017 will be even bigger,” it reads. MIDiA is forecasting an IPO for Spotify and some definitive answers about its longevity as a music company. “2017 is going to be the year when we find out whether the big, bold Spotify experiment has worked,” the report says. Also, over time, Spotify will move into the role of disrupted company rather than disruptor following a shift toward experiential streaming services. The also expected Spotify to close 2017 with 55 million subscribers compared with 30 million for Apple Music.
Apple Music figured heavily in the report as well. One of the longer-term predictions is that Apple might sell an iPhone and Apple Music bundle. In the shorter term, Apple will probably continue its tie-ups with telecoms. Finally, the report projects Tidal ownership to change hands, anticipating “a distressed sale” to Apple at some point in the year.
The predictions include a heavy focus on digital content and services for hardware companies. Offering a combination of hardware and software could help phone and tablet markets to offset slowing device sales. Apple Music may be a test case for that trend, with the service gathering a solid listener base in its first year and a half.
It also looks at some likely impending stumbling blocks for the advertising market, anticipating a great supply than demand for digital ad inventory. As a result, the year could see ad rates decline. We’ve seen heavy investments in programmatic advertising systems during 2016 among the audio industry, so this is a topic of interest for a great many RAIN readers.