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Like Twitter, music streaming services are killing it with huge mobile audiences – tens of millions of users and rising. But they are struggling to turn growing audiences into growing business success and a burst of consolidation is likely on the horizon.

Sound smart: None of the big players are profitable: Spotify is about go public; Pandora is taking big money from SiriusXM to compete; and Soundcloud just laid off 40 percent of its staff to stay afloat.

Expand chart
Data: Monthly uniques from Verto Analytics. Subscriber counts self-reported. Spotify and Apple from 2017, Rhapsody and Tidal from 2016; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Bottom line: The audience is there, but the cash isn't flowing ... yet. A big part of that stems from economics behind the digital economy (too many players in a crowded field) and music ownership and distribution rights — an issue that has been at the heart of the streaming mess since the beginning.

Deeper: The streaming economy is built around the premise that one day these giants will grow big enough to be able to force music labels to meet their terms, instead of the other way around. Apple Music is reportedly looking to give music labels less of a cut, but nothing has been negotiated yet. Spotify celebrated a mere 3-cent royalties reduction deal with Universal from 55% to 52% earlier this year.

Go deeper

51 mins ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.

4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.