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Niche Streaming Services Try To Break Music Fans’ ‘One Subscription’ Habit

Woman walks listening to music selecting song


Today DJ-oriented music service Beatport dropped the needle on a new subscription-based streaming offering, Beatport LINK, with a host of specialized features geared toward professional and aspiring mix-masters. While this kind of announcement happens three times a week in the OTT video streaming market, it is surprisingly rare in the music space, where a few big players have hoovered up all the airtime and listeners show little appetite for variety. Now a couple of new entrants are trying to get in between the cracks.

According to a March, 2019 study from Deloitte, the market for music streaming grew a robust 41% last year, in line with booming growth across the board for subscription-based media. There’s one big difference in the trends, however. Viewers opt for an average of three different TV subscriptions (and room for more), but when it comes to music, one choice is enough for most fans.

That’s unsurprising considering the lack of differentiation. Spotify (36% of the market as of June 30, 2018), Apple Music (19%), and Amazon (12%) lead a top-heavy lineup of mainstream providers, each offering roughly the same deep catalog and feature set, as well as platform lock-in incentives to keep listeners from switching providers.

In other words, the big companies have largely solved the problem of scale, and have made it tough for new entrants to compete for the fattest slice of the mass market. The problem with being miles wide and inches deep is that you invite competition at the edges, for listeners with specialized tastes and interests.

Beatport is one company trying to cater to a niche audience, combining

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