The Death Of Paid Music Downloads

Jul 12,2018

Nielsen Music's mid-year report for 2018 seems to be a pivotal moment for the global music industry. The report indicated a growth spurt with on-demand song streaming activity surpassing 400 billion and on-demand audio streaming increasing by 45%.

However, the industry does not look very promising for artists looking to sell music online as sales of song downloads dropped 27.4% while album downloads slipped 21.7%.

Last year, Drake and Post Malone (pictured above) had the highest volume of on-demand audio streams out of any artists in the U.S., with 3.3 billion and 3.1 billion. The gap between streaming and buying is increasing faster than anticipated as more individuals are converted to paid music streaming subscribers.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry(IFPI) reported a 45.5% increase in global paid subscription streaming. The IFPI report also mentions a large difference in returns to record companies and musicians. Last year, Spotify paid record companies US$20 per user, whereas video streaming giant Youtube returned less than US$1 for each music user. 

Streaming is here to stay and it will ultimately eradicate buying singles or albums. This progression does benefit listeners and popular musicians but things could get much worse for independent artists and local talents around the world.

Do you agree?