Last updated: 10 December 2014
With the recent launch of popular music streaming services in Brazil the number of options for the public to consume music has expanded significantly. In this article we will outline the current status of this market and show what the major services are offering to Brazilian audiences.
Music Consumption in Brazil
Similar to other product categories such as movies and games, the market for recorded music in Brazil has been affected by piracy, which mostly takes place in the country through the commonly found counterfeit street sellers or illegal downloads. Recent data, however, indicates that music piracy is not nearly as big an issue for the Brazilian record market as in the critical periods of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, mostly because of the cheap, convenient solutions introduced to the country’s public as of late.
According to data from the Brazilian Record Producer Association, or ABPD, the revenue for paid music downloads, ad-sponsored online music videos, ringtones and music streaming has been increasing steadily in recent years. In 2013, the revenue for these categories increased by 22.39%, mostly carried by paid downloads. That year, before the introduction of major subscription-based music streaming services, saw a meager 1.5% increase in revenue from music streaming.
This scenario is most likely to change in the near future as recently introduced music streaming services try to attract the country’s market to this medium. For example, the current three major services in the world - Spotify, Deezer and Rdio, offer significantly lower prices in Brazil compared to Europe and North America, while special bundles and discounts to their subscriptions have been continuously introduced to attract more customers.
These tactics seem to be paying off, according to data by global statistics company Nielsen. Their research results from 2014 show a rising interest from the country’s smartphone users to music streaming apps and portals and a surprising decrease in consumption of stored music on their devices.
Furthermore, new efforts intend to capitalise on one of the currently most used channels for music consumption in Brazil: video streaming. Data by Comscore shows that YouTube has more than 60 million unique users in Brazil per month, of which a considerable portion uses the free service as a channel to consume music.
Music Streaming Services
Some of the largest music streaming services in the world were only recently launched in Brazil, while others have been established in the market for years.
The North-American based music streaming service was one of the first to officially arrive in Brazil, in October 2011, initially through a partnership with Mobile Operator Oi.
The service offers more than 30 million songs, which can be consumed on their web platform or mobile apps for Android and iOS. Their monthly subscription is charged at BRL 14.90, while a free, ad-supported web version allows users to listen to customized radio stations.
The French music streaming service arrived in Brazil in April 2013 and now offers over 35 million songs to the country’s users and the option to upload song files to personal accounts.
A free, ad-supported model is offered to users with unlimited playback for the first six months. After that period, users are limited to two hours of playback per day.
Their subscription model offers a Premium option for BRL 8.90 per month where users can use their web page to listen to the entire catalogue and a Premium+ option for BRL 14.90 where songs can also be downloaded and consumed through their mobile app.
The price for these subscriptions has been subject to a number of discounts recently, such as an offer for three-months for BRL 14.90 in July 2014 and an offer of two months for BRL 1.99 in November 2014.
The service also established a partnership with Mobile Operator TIM in October 2014 where the operator post paid plan subscribers were offered a price of BRL 12.90 for a single month or BRL 9.90 for a recurring subscription, and pre-paid users were offered a weekly plan for BRL 2.90.
The Swedish music streaming service officially arrived in Brazil in May 2014 and currently offers over 30 million songs to the country’s users.
A free ad-supported version of their service allows users to listen to any song or album in their catalogue, while premium plans allows users to download songs to their devices for offline playback.
A special offer of their usual BRL 14.90 monthly plan was recently introduced in the country, allowing users to pay BRL 4.99 during the first three months of subscription.
Google’s music streaming service officially arrived in Brazil in September 2014 exclusively for Samsung device users and launched to the whole public in November.
The service charges BRL 14.90 per month, with a special price of BRL 12.90 per month available until January 2015. It currently offers a catalogue of 30 million songs to their users and curated radio playlists. Playback is available for Android and iOS mobile devices and PC browsers.
Subscribers are also granted the upload of 20,000 songs in MP3 or FLAC formats to their accounts. Songs bought in Google Play marketplace can also be downloaded for offline playback.
Microsoft’s music streaming was officially launched in October 2012 and offered to users of PC, Windows, Android and iOS mobile devices and Xbox gaming platforms.
The service currently offers over 30 million songs and charges BRL 14.90 per monthly subscription or BRL 149.00 per annual subscription. An option for free ad-supported playback was recently removed from the service.
Sony Music Unlimited
Japanese electronics corporation Sony introduced its Sony Music Unlimited streaming services in Brazil in May 2013 and currently offers a catalogue of over 30 million songs.
The service can be used on PC’s, Sony Bravia TV’s, Sony Xperia tablets, smartphones and also Sony’s Playstation home and mobile consoles. Their subscription model is split into a BRL 7.90 plan which allows for playback on PC’s, TV’s and home consoles and a BRL 14.90 monthly plan where playback is also available for mobile platforms.
This music streaming service created from a partnership between North-American company Pandora and Brazilian web portal Terra arrived in Brazil in 2013.
The service offers a catalogue of 17 million songs, a web-only plan which allows for streaming only on PC’s and is charged at BRL 8.90 per month and a premium plan which allows for streaming through mobile devices and song downloads charged at BRL 14.90 per month.
Mobile operator Vivo established a partnership with the service in which their users are offered the price of BRL 2.99 for a single device weekly plan, BRL 9.90 for a single device monthly plan or BRL 14.90 for a three device monthly plan.
British music streaming service arrived in Brazil in October 2012 and currently offers over 22 million songs to the country’s users.
Subscription models are split into a web only plan charged at USD 3.49, around BRL 8.90 and a mobile platform and download-enabled plan for USD 6.99, or around BRL 17.90. The first three months of subscription are offered for USD 0.69, or BRL 1.80, and USD 1.39, or BRL 3.60, respectively.
Mobile operator Claro established a partnership with national music licensing and platform provider Imusica Corp to offer a streaming service to their subscribers with the option to download songs.
The service offers a catalogue of 18 million songs, with playback available on PC’s, Android and iOS mobile devices. Weekly plans are charged at BRL 4.90, while monthly subscriptions are charged BRL 14.90.