Streaming music passes physical sales for first time

The shrinking download market is next.
Streaming music is officially a bigger business than physical music sales in the United States for the first time, according to new data released today by the Recording Industry Association of America. If the current trends continue, streaming will surpass digital download sales as the biggest single source of revenue for the music industry by next year. 

As some parts of the music industry shrank rapidly and other parts boomed, the overall industry remained about flat in the first half of 2015, compared to the same period the year before. “The data continues to reflect the story of a business undergoing an enormous transformation,” says Cary Sherman, the chairman of the RIAA. 

Streaming currently accounts for about one-third of overall spending on music, totaling just over $1 billion for the first six months of the year. The shift towards streaming is likely to accelerate. The period that the RIAA measured doesn’t reflect the launch of Apple’s streaming service, which began on the last day of the first half of the year. 

©2015 Bloomberg News

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