Digital downloads face the music as streaming surges

A new report by the RIAA has revealed the music listening habits of the US and it’s no surprise that streaming is currently the undisputed winner. 

When it comes to digital downloads, however, the outlook is pretty bleak. For the first time since 2011, music listeners who want to have their own record collection are preferring to buy albums and singles on physical media, rather than downloading it to their hard drives. 

Sales of digital media decreased a massive 25% compared to last year. This is partly due to streaming cannibalizing that section of the market and the evergreen popularity of vinyl. 

This isn't to say that physical media can pop open the champagne and celebrate offering music in a malleable form, though, physical sales have decreased, too - down from 21% to 17% of the market.

Pay to play

While streaming has a whopping 65% of listeners in its grasp, that percentage lowers to 47% when you take into consideration those who are actually using paid subscriptions.

"Paid subscriptions were the biggest growth driver for the music industry in 2017," notes the report

"Year-over-year revenue growth of 63% brought total subscription revenues to more than $4 billion for the first time, making it by far the biggest format of recorded music in the United States, comprising 47% of the total market."

Streaming is the preferred medium and it’s no surprise. Whether it is Spotify going public or Apple Music becoming an ever-increasing force in the market, these services just continue to grow. 

Via SlashGear

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.