Music streaming is a quite a new concept, with the first major streaming service, Soundcloud, starting up in 2007 as a way for artists to upload and share their music. However, now you probably won’t leave the house without popping your earphones in and opening up either Spotify or Apple Music.

Both streaming services have been fighting dominance of the market share since Apple unveiled their competitor in the form of Apple Music in June 2015. The platform was an evolution of the unpopular Beats music service that they offered previously.

There are plenty of other services available to music lovers, like the premium service Tidal, created by rap artist Jay-Z, which has enjoyed exclusive releases from artists like Rhianna and Beyoncé. Deezer and Soundcloud are also popular services, both offering premium memberships for a fixed monthly fee.

Despite all of this competition, Spotify enjoyed a 26% rise in subscriptions last year, bringing the total amount of premium subscribers to 60 million. The company is currently benefiting from a surge of music listeners who are tired of paying for individual albums.

Their partnership in 2011 with Facebook enabled users to see what friends are listening to and share playlists with one another. And the pairing paid off. The clever partnership made listening to music a more social experience.

But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

Spotify has been plagued with a series of customer data leaks, damaging their brand image with doubts about their data security.

They also did not help themselves when they failed to inform customers of a security breach in October 2015.

However, it seems that Spotify is ready to move on from its mistakes, and keep its bad press in the past. The company aims to go public in 2018, and it is currently valued at around £15bn. Spotify is hoping that it will be a business that can buck the trend of tech startups failing on the US stock exchange. If Spotify succeeds, not only will this cement Spotify as one of the leading music streaming services in the market, but it will also ensure that streaming is the future of music consumption.

So, it’s good news for consumers who enjoy the flexibility and freedom that streaming provides. Spotify is only going from strength to strength.