Streaming rises among music lovers

Music streaming and related services are still on the rise, boosted by faster network speeds and greater mobile penetration, say leading over-the-top players.

Krittee Manoleehagul, managing director of Tencent Thailand and an executive of Joox Thailand, said music streaming has become a leading part of Thai digital lifestyles, a trend that is likely to increase globally. Smartphones are the primary device for music lovers, making up 75% of the streaming market.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), income from the global music streaming market in 2017 grew to 41.1% of the music industry’s total income of US$17.3 billion.

The music streaming market accounts for 38% of all music platforms, the largest revenue contribution, leading other physical music platforms such as CDs and records, which account for a 30% market share.

In Thailand, Joox had more than 3 billion song plays in 2018, a 50% increase from 2016. Some 89% of Thai users listen to Thai music over international music, thanks to internet bandwidth improvement, data packages and affordable devices, and they opt for high-quality music streaming with more varied music genres.

Joox users average 90 minutes a day on the music app, and 41% of users are 18-25 years old. Joox’s revenue is from VIP subscriptions and media partners. Thais use mobile phones to listen to streaming music at a rate 93% higher than the global average.

Joox also deploys an O2O2O strategy (online-to-offline-to-online) that combines both online and offline platforms in order to motivate value-added activity across all music industries, regardless of genre, artist or label.

Joox offers Video Karaoke and Live Korean Concert features, as well as more exclusive content from collaborations with Thai and international artists. As of 2018, the top three genres were pop, rock and hip-hop/R&B.

Jan-Paul Jeffrey, head of marketing for Southeast Asia at Spotify, which entered Thailand in 2017, said the company powers an average of 11 billion artist discoveries each month worldwide.

Spotify’s core listeners are 18-24 years old. The service offers over 50 million tracks to free listeners who hear ads and to paid subscribers.

Customised and curated playlists such as Discover Weekly and Thai Pop Hits help fans find the music relevant to them and let them discover new songs.

The subscription service costs 129 baht monthly. A family account with six users costs 199 baht.

In Asia, Gen Z is obsessed with K-Pop and newer K-Pop bands such as ITZY. Spotify’s Early Noise 2019 feature, Tomorrow X Together, can be found within most playlists across Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Globally, Spotify has 217 million users, including 100 million premium subscribers across 79 markets.

“Music is one of the top five topics that Thais search actively on Google apart from locals/nearby places, sports/football, travel and entertainment that includes music and shopping for product searches,” said Saranee Boonritthongchai, head of consumer and small and medium business marketing at Google Thailand.

Thais spend nearly five hours on mobile phones out of nine hours of internet a day. Google aims to localise its search engine feature for Thais so that they can find more information in one destination, faster and easier.

Google says 88% of Thais aged 16-44 listen to music online and 12% listen offline. Most Thais search for songs in the country, pop, rock and rap/hip-hop genres.

The knowledge panel was first created so that users no longer have to go through blue website links to find answers on Google. Music lovers in Thailand can find relevant information by providing updated knowledge panels to show relevant information that is often searched.

Users are able to find the name of the song by searching for a verse of a song’s lyrics. Google will show videos of related songs or search for any artist named, and the search results will show a panel of songs, albums and videos related to that artist.

Thais also can search for a specific genre such as pop, then the search results will show a panel for users to discover trending music within the searched genre.