Web: Streaming has officially taken over the music business

March 2016 by: From The Web

America has a new favorite way to pay for music.


For the first time ever, retail revenue from streaming services eclipsed revenue for digital downloads in 2015, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Music fans are opening their wallets to pay for music subscription services, or listening to songs on free ad-supported platforms.


Streaming comprised 34.3 percent of industry revenue for the year, bringing in $2.4 billion. Digital album and track downloads, which have been in decline for years, came in just behind with a 34 percent share of the market, followed by physical formats. In total, revenue was up about 1 percent, to $7 billion for the year. 


Streaming services have been around for more than a decade. One of the first, ironically, tried to leverage the brand of Napster, the file-sharing service that introduced music piracy to the masses. But the two companies most responsible for streaming’s success are Spotify, the first subscription service to find a large audience, and YouTube, which is the most popular method for listening to music online.


The RIAA has one big problem with both these platforms: they let people listen to music on demand for free. These ad-supported listening experiences brought in less than $400 million in revenue in 2015, compared to $1.2 billion from paid subscription services. Vinyl records were actually more lucrative for the music industry than YouTube streams, bringing in $416 million in revenue.


...


Continue Reading: Time