Recently, the Nielsen company reported that digital music is starting to slowly lose ground to unlimited streaming music services, like Pandora and Spotify.
According to the report, which compares the first six months of 2014 to the first six months of 2013, shows that sales of albums are down close to 15 percent compared to 2013, although, On-Demand streaming is up 42 percent.
Neilsen SoundScan and Nielsen BDS tracks U.S. radio airplay and music streams, which both combine to power a lot of the Billboard charts. Vinyl album sales are also up over 40 percent.
“With On-Demand streams surpassing 70 billion songs in the first six months of 2014, streaming continues to be an increasingly significant portion of the music industry,” says David Bakula, Senior Vice-President of Nielsen Entertainment. “Streaming’s 42-percent year-over-year growth and Vinyl LP’s 40% increase over last year’s record-setting pace shows interest in buying and consuming music continues to be robust, with two very distinct segments of the industry expanding substantially.”
Streaming Free Music Works For Many
I recently wrote a piece that discussed three different websites that stream music for free. That’s not even including all of the radio stations on IHeartRadio.com that you can listen to, or many of the other ways to stream free music. But sites like Spotify, Pandora and Songza seem to do the best job of getting you the music you want, when you want it. Other sites that stream music include: Google’s Play Music All Access, Rdio, Deezer and Amazon Prime.
It even seems like the iPhone has helped make the iPod a dated piece of technology. While both devices can store tons of music, you’re going to need your iPhone to stream music online while on the go.
Apple’s recent $3 billion acquisition of Beats Music is evidence of their attempt to get into the streaming music game.
One can even expect cars and motorcycle helmets to someday have digital music streaming choices, as the auto industry is always just a few years behind desktop progress. Just like how Smart TVs will never work better than a good TV and a new streaming box for less money, cars would be better off allowing apps to do the work, rather than installing new hardware.
The next 10 years will likely see streaming music options invade our world in every aspect. How long until you step into an elevator and your iPhone tells the lift what type of musak you want to listen to?
Going Old School With Vinyl Albums
The “hipster” community has really created a surge in the music industry, as they’ve joined together to resurrect a formerly dead music medium.
There were 4 million physical vinyl records sold between January 1 and June 30 of 2014, according to this report, and that’s an increase of over one million vinyl records sold in the same period back in 2013.
Even with the surge in vinyl sales, total album sales (which includes digital and physical sales) dipped almost 15 percent in the first six months of this year compared to last year.