Digital Music Distribution: The Rise of Streaming Revenue

Hello friend, Today, we’re going to have a look at how digital streaming has seemingly grown exponentially in the past few years thanks to services like Pandora, Spotify, and most recently, Apple Music. I was a bit tempted to add “…and Fall of Download Revenue?”.

In the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) year-end sales report for 2015, numbers show streaming music over the past year generated more revenue than digital downloads, an industry first.

The RIAA report reads in part:

The streaming category includes revenues from subscription services (such as paid versions of Spotify, TIDAL, and Apple Music, among others), streaming radio service revenues that are distributed by SoundExchange (like Pandora, SiriusXM, and other Internet radio), and other non-subscription on-demand streaming services (such as YouTube, Vevo, and ad-supported Spotify).

View graphical representations below.

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Projections into 2016 (and beyond).

In terms of overall growth and projections, the disparities between paid downloads and streaming will only intensify. According to RIAA data, ‘Download Single’ sales plunged 14.9 percent last year alone (in terms of total transactions), with ‘Download Album’ sales dropping 7.0 percent (also in terms of total transactions). Those declines are likely to intensify in 2016, while streaming is highly likely to continue surging.

YouTube remains the fastest-growing streaming platform and have proven to be a great source of revenue for artists and content creators because of the different avenues of earning, especially YouTube Content ID.

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