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Features July 29, 2019

How the new tech toys are driving the streaming rocket

How the new tech toys are driving the streaming rocket

Music streaming isn’t skyrocketing just because Spotify and Apple Music are offering more deals to entice users or it’s attracting those who found the downloading process too difficult.

The increased adoption of new tech toys as wireless earbuds and smart speakers are also playing a significant role in the up-take in both Australia and the US.

Come Tomorrow

A new Consumer Technology Association (CTA) mid-year report US Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts, predicts that music streaming services will generate $8.4 billion in the US alone this year, a 33% spike over 2018 revenue in the world’s largest music market.

ARIA’s upcoming mid-year report will provide a better idea of how much streaming revenue now dominates the A$526 million Australian music market. It was 71.4% in its last report.

One independent forecast expects revenue to grow at an annual rate of 3.2% between 2019 and 2023, and a value of $335.5 million by 2023.

Hourly, Daily

There are no Australian sales figures for wireless earbuds. But the CTA forecast expects a 46% rise to $2 billion, and double-digit growth over the next few years as US consumers pick premium audio experiences featuring true wireless technology.

Australian take-up of smart speakers leaves the Americans far behind. it was 29.3% of the adult population (or 5.7 million) to about 26% in the US by the end of 2018.

That’s according to Voicebot and digital agency’s FIRST’s 2019 Australia Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report which also noted that 80% of Australian smart speaker owners use their devices monthly; over 46% (or a very impressive 2.6 million) use them on a daily basis.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

Matt Ware, head of operations at FIRST commented on the figures: “Although the headline number seems high, when you think about it there is a lot of interest in Australia in new technologies. Adoption of smartphones in Australia is higher than in most other countries and use of digital payments is around 70% with one of the highest uses of contactless payments in the world according to a study done by Visa.

“When considering this context, it isn’t surprising that Australians would be interested in smart speakers as a device and digital assistants as a whole.”

But in America after rapid adoption of AI-enabled, voice-controlled smart speakers, and increased voice integration in other devices such as TVs, soundbars and smart home devices, smart speaker sales will level off in 2019 to 35.2 million units (1% up over last year) and $3 billion in revenue (1% down).

Apple Homepod

Video skilled the radio star

The new devices are also making an impact on video-on-demand and gaming streaming.

In Australia, with the sixth highest penetration in the world, 10.2 million pay for SVOD with Netflix Australia at 5.3 million subscribers, Stan at 1.4 million, YouTube Premium at 1 million, Amazon Prime Video at 600,000 and Foxtel Now at 500,000.

The US spend is tipped to jump by 25% to $17.7 billion.

In terms of video streaming, live TV streaming and exclusive content through subscriptions will push US consumer spending on video streaming services to $17.7 billion in 2019, up 25%.

Australia is ranked number six in terms of video streaming penetration rate, after the United State, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Finland.


Offerings from China

An April 2019 survey from AMPD Research showed that 10.2 million Australians pay for SVOD services, with Netflix Australia with 5.3 million subscribers, Stan at 1,4 million, YouTube Premium at 1 million, Amazon Prime Video at 600,000 and Foxtel Now a 500,000.

Gaming too has benefitted from a shift toward cloud-based streaming models, subscriptions and growing in-game purchases.

Two months ago, the Australian Interactive Games & Entertainment Association revealed that in 2018, Australians spent $4.029 billion, a rise of 25% of the year before.

Digital sales generated $2.85 billion and physical retail sales were $1.17 billion, a slight increase of 0.2%.

The in-game digital purchase segment shot up a staggering 190% year-on-year, while digital full game revenue was also up by 20% on 2017 sales

Within overall digital sales, mobile is still one of the largest categories, posting 11% revenue growth. Retail sales were bolstered by console accessories sales, up by 19%

Over in the US, gaming revenue is expected to grow by 11% this year to $38.9 billion.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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