On the eve of Rhapsody’s 13th birthday, we’re reflecting on what has been not only one of the biggest years in our 13 year history, but on what has been the most defining year for streaming music to date.
When Rhapsody launched in 2001, we believed that there should be a legal way to instantly access millions of songs. Today, we’ve surpassed more than two million global subscribers, reimagined Internet radio with the launch of Rhapsody unRadio and expanded into more than 30 countries across the U.S., Europe and Latin America. To celebrate this watershed year, we’re looking back on how the listening behaviors of Rhapsody and Napster’s members have grown in 2014: who they are listening to, how and where they are listening and how that compares to some of the emerging markets where Napster has exploded.
Looking at Rhapsody and Napster’s listener data says a lot about U.S. and global music trends:
- Mobile is a fueling force for growth. Today, 63 percent of Rhapsody and Napster members across the globe stream solely on their mobile device. This is particularly true in Brazil, the most mobile music friendly country, where nearly 85 percent of members are mobile-only. Compared with 2013, mobile streaming globally is up 33 percent.
- A rise in global streaming resulted in more royalties for artists. Thanks to a Taylor Swift-sized spotlight, the debate around artist royalties and subscription music has never been louder (we love you, Taylor). This year, Rhapsody will pay out about $65 in label royalties****for a typical retail subscriber. To date, we’ve paid over three-quarters of a billion dollars in royalties.
- R&B and hip-hop continue to be the world’s most popular genres, while local artists dominate regional music charts. Eminem was the top-streamed artist of 2014, while **Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same” **was the most streamed album.
- More Rhapsody users are swapping ear buds for speakers. Mobile may be king when it comes to global streaming, but connected devices are on the rise. For the first time ever, more Rhapsody members listened to music from an in-home streaming device than their personal computer.
As we look ahead into 2015, we’ve never been more excited. Our team is hard at work on some more groundbreaking products and features that we cannot wait to bring to the world. Until then, here’s a snapshot of the most popular songs of 2014:
|**Top 5 songs in the ****U.S. of 2014**|
|1. Happy – Pharrell Williams 2. Dark Horse – Katy Perry 3. All of Me – John Legend 4. Fancy – Iggy Azalea 5. Royals – Lorde|
|**Top 5 songs in the ****U.K. of 2014**|
|1. Rather Be – Clean Bandit 2. All of Me – John Legend 3. Waves – Mr. Probz 4. Let it Go – Idina Menzel 5. Happy – Pharrell Williams|
|**Top 5 songs in ****Germany of 2014**|
|1. Au Revoir – Mark Forster
2. Waves – Mr. Probz
3. Prayer in C – Robin Schulz
4. Dark Horse – Katy Perry
5. Rather Be – Clean Bandit