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Survey says iTunes still top music provider, but streams sneaking up

Apple's iTunes is still the top contender in digital music sales

Research conducted by the indie music agency Merlin and detailed today crowns iTunes the top source worldwide for digital music revenue.

But the data suggests that streaming music services are catching up to digital downloads, as Spotify took second place in terms of global revenue paid to labels.

Merlin looked to a recent survey of its 20,000 member labels as well as a close examination of 6.5 billion music streams from the last year.

The results aren't surprising, but it may paint a picture of what's to come, especially as Google enters the streaming music fray with its newly announced Google Play Music All Access.

Around the world

Merlin divided its results by U.S., U.K., Europe, and worldwide, and iTunes and Spotify took the top two spots for revenue in all four categories.

Amazon MP3 is in third across the board as well, with eMusic coming in fourth globally and in the U.S. and Deezer taking the fourth spot in the U.K. and Europe.

Both digital downloads and streaming subscription revenues are rising, Merlin reported, but streaming revenue is rising at a more rapid pace.

Check out TechRadar's comparison of Spotify versus Google Play Music All Access to find out how we predict the newly announced service will stack up.

Via TechCrunch