Written by Dorica Santos
Remember the days you would save up money to buy your favourite band or artist’s new CD album? Well, soon those days will be over with the gradual growth of streamed music.
In 2016, streamed music was responsible for 50% of the U.S. music industry revenue, whereas in 2015 it was only 34%. In fact, Paid and ad-supported streaming generated 51% of music revenue last year, which is $3.9 billion. Madness.
The increase can be credited to the growth of paid subscriptions to services like, TIDAL, Spotify and Apple Music. These paid subscription plans doubled revenue and bought in $2.5billion, with an average of 22.6 million people subscribing to streaming services last year. This is a massive difference from the 10.8 million paying subscribers from the year before.
Paid streaming has not only reduced the amount of CDs bought, but has also led to a big decline in paid downloads. Physical media bought in $1.7 billion, which is 16% below 2015 levels. Likewise, iTunes and other digital music downloads bought in $1.8 billion, which is 22% less money in 2016.
There are benefits of streaming music: it is easier to use, quicker to find your artists or album and ultimately, it is cheaper than buying each and every album. The streaming market has become quite saturated with people opting for Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal for various reasons and now even Pandora have entered the game. Some may say that it still does not beat having your own hard copy or the sight of CDs, cassettes or vinyl, stacked up in your home.
Yet, with Kanye’s TLOP being the first ever album to go platinum with ONLY streams, perhaps we are witnessing a new age of music consumption right in front of our eyes.
Let us know what you think about the state of music and streaming!