STREAMING MUSIC now represents almost half of all music revenues worldwide, according to a new report.
The IFPI Global Music Report shows a mahoosive growth in services like Spotify and Tidal, up 34 per cent year on year.
The way we consume music has changed beyond recognition in the last 10 years, with physical formats replaced by downloads, which has evolved into a one-price-for-all streaming lust.
However, the change has actually been something of a saviour to the industry, with a 10 per cent overall rise in revenue to $19.1bn (£14.5bn), with streaming revenue offsetting the demise of physical formats that has seen the likes of HMV hit the buffers (twice), with 10.1 per cent drop. This year's figures mark a fourth consecutive year of growth for the industry after a slump.
Paid subscription services had 255 million subscribers in 2018, representing 37 per cent, with the rest coming from free tiered services from Spotify and others such as Google Play Music.
You only have to go back to 2014 and CDs were still king. It wasn't until 2015 that the tipping point was reached, something that makes today's figures even more remarkable.
Although streaming is part of the furniture in the West, the big rises have actually been in Latin America, whilst Asia and Australasia still tend to favour something you can feel, as it were.
The MP3 download remains a strange hybrid between the two, and indeed its popularity with buyers is sinking. Those who want a physical format will buy CDs, whilst those who don't mind virtual ownership would rather pay a single price for their music, rather than 79p here, 99p there. Accordingly, downloading revenue has plummeted by 21.2 per cent, the biggest drop on the list.
Nevertheless, alongside the big streaming players - Apple Music, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, Tidal and of course Spotify - there are still several sites such as 7Digital and eMusic that continue to build their business model around ownership of your MP3s. μ
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