Last year was the first year that iTunes song downloads declined, ever. Get used to that trend: according to a finding just released by MIDiA Research, song downloads will drop 39% over the next five years, thanks to aggressive gains in streaming. “Streaming has driven new market growth in countries such as Sweden but in larger markets such as the US it is denting digital music buying,” MIDiA founder Mark Mulligan bluntly stated.
“The first wave of subscribers was harvested directly from the most valuable download buyers, denting download sales in the process. 23% of music streamers used to buy more than one album a month but no longer do so.”
Eventually, streaming will cannibalize all recording things. “Download sales are affected most and will continue to feel the pinch with 45% of all music downloaders also music streamers,” Mulligan continued. “Thus, although streaming and subscriptions will grow by 238% on 2013 levels to reach $8 billion in 2019, download revenue will decline by 39% – only five percent less than the rate at which CD revenues will fall – leaving streaming and subscriptions representing 70% of all digital revenue.”
Graph by Digital Music News. Written while listening to a bunch of deep house.