A few years ago, purchasing songs and albums via platforms such as iTunes was all the rage, but could our habits of consuming music be changing? Well that’s what a recent report from Nielsen seems to suggest. According to Nielsen’s US music report for the first half of 2014, they have found that users have started to shift towards streaming, as opposed to downloading.
By downloading we don’t mean illegally since we’re sure that’s still pretty active, but rather downloading from stores like iTunes. Based on their findings, it seems that on-demand streaming is up 42% over the first half of 2013, managing to rack up 70 billion plays in the first half of 2014. As for digital track sales, it has fallen by 13% to 593.6 million, while album sales have declined by 11.6% to 53.8 million.
This is actually not the first time we have heard about how digital music sales have been on the decline. Earlier this year we reported that digital music sales had experienced a drop and based on Nielsen’s numbers, it looks like that trend is continuing. Now this isn’t to say that digital downloads and sales are going away. There are still plenty of countries and markets who do not have access to on-demand streaming, so those markets will still have to rely on digital downloads to consume their music.
We have recently seen companies launch music efforts, like Amazon with Amazon Prime Music and Samsung with their Samsung Milk service. Apple too has renewed their efforts by purchasing Beats, thus effectively buying the Beats Music streaming platform in the process. In the meantime what do you guys think? Is streaming the new way of consuming music?