2014 revealed an inevitable trend in regards to the way we listen to music.
As the advancement of technology progresses more and more into our daily lives, the music industry is also adapting to the new methods that modern technology has introduced. The music industry as a whole has developed from vinyl sales to CD sales to digital sales, and now streaming is becoming the next big thing. Music consumption data from both the U.S. and U.K. demonstrate the rise of the streaming era.
While there has always been a debate between physical and digital sales, the BPI report predicts a growth for paid streaming services in 2015. Although U.S. streaming data includes video content, the U.S. and U.K both display the growing trend of streaming content versus purchasing physical or digital content. Digital album sales in both the U.S. and U.K. decreased by 9%, while U.K. physical sales decreased by almost 7%, with the U.S. decreasing by 11%. Unsurprisingly, streaming content also appears to be stronger than ever, with an increase of 65% in the U.K. and 54% in the United States.
Kim Bayley, boss of ERA in the U.K., noted that the entertainment industry has adapted along with the way people consume music: “This second successive year of growth demonstrates entertainment is becoming a mixed, multi-channel economy in which streaming, digital and physical formats can both prosper, each satisfying different consumer needs.”
Artist revenue streams are the focus of this visual from The Trichordist. This visual demonstrates how the number of streams per song affects the amount paid to the artist. Bigger platforms tend to pay artists smaller amounts while smaller platforms are able to pay artists more for their content, although the streaming numbers are much smaller. With streaming on the rise, it will be interesting to see if and how this changes for artists who are releasing their music to the public.
U.K. digital sales overall accumulated to £1.03 billion, yet the BPI report states that the U.K. streamed over 14.8 billion songs. As we step into 2015, we can hope that the amount of pay-per-stream grows enough so that artists will continue to produce music, tour around the world, and ultimately expand the music industry from where it is now. Otherwise, these unbelievably low numbers of under a dollar per stream could result in an industry stand-still.
Cover photo via Tech Scribblings