In 2015, the streaming music market became a full-contact spectator sport.
Sure, the category has been busy for some time: In 2014, we saw Taylor Swift dump Spotify, Google buy Songza and YouTube launch its own music subscription service. And 2013 gave us iTunes Radio and the awkwardly named Google Play Music All Access.
But 2015 was insane. It started off with, of all things, Jay-Z buying and relaunching his own streaming music service, Tidal. Grooveshark shut down. Apple launched Apple Music. YouTube announced YouTube Music. Spotify put its acquisition of the Echo Nest to good use with addictive new discovery features.
Not to be left in the dust, Pandora bought Next Big Sound. And then it acquired TicketFly. Oh, and then it snapped up the assets of Rdio, the Spotify rival which announced it was shutting down in November.
To close out an eventful year, The Beatles finally made their catalog available on all the major streaming services worldwide.
Well, if you think this year was an interesting time in digital music, don’t put away the popcorn just yet. This time next year, we’ll be rattling off a whole new list of changes to the way we interact with music. So, what’s ahead? Here are our five big predictions for streaming music in 2016: