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Music streaming sees download sales drop


Music streaming sees download sales drop

 Since 2017 download sales have dropped 40%

Over the past decade, digital music consumption shifted from downloads to streaming, turning streaming services into the driving force of the music industry. And while the streaming segment continues surging, racking up more revenue than ever, the music downloads industry faces a decade of continuous decline. According to data recently researched the global music downloads industry is expected to generate only £1bn in revenue next year, showing a massive 40% drop since 2017.

Streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube Music, and Apple Music have entirely changed the landscape of the music industry. Their massive popularity among Gen Zers and Millenials, who prefer the subscription economy, has helped these services reach hundreds of millions of users worldwide and become the largest revenue stream in this industry. But as streaming services grew, other revenue streams like physical sales and downloads melted away.

According to a Statista survey, back in 2017, streaming services generated just over $10bn in American dollars of revenue, while music downloads brought in another $2.3bn. Over the next three years, streaming revenues practically doubled, reaching nearly $19bn, while download revenue dropped below $2bn. The opposite trend has continued ever since, with the streaming segment climbing to all-time highs while music downloads continued to fall.

Statista expects music downloads revenue to drop by a further 2.5% to only $1.36bn in 2024, while the streaming services will bring 21 times more than that, or $29.6bn. The surging number of music streaming subscriptions has helped streaming platforms to increase their revenue share tenfold in the past decade. Back in 2012, streaming made up only 6% of the total music industry revenue, or roughly £900 million; last year, its revenue share jumped to 71%.

In 2017, music downloads made up 15% of the total digital music revenue. This figure is expected to drop to only 3% next year. The research was carried out by

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