So apparently if you are still a dinosaur, like myself, who doesn't have Spotify, Apple Music, or some other streaming service you are seriously behind the times. Streaming has become the number one way to listen to music according to Neilsen Music's latest report.
The new report by Neilsen Music stated that this past year streaming services were responsible for around 38% of the “Music Consumption Market” in the U.S., recording nearly 251 BILLION songs being obtained via music streaming services. Those numbers are considerable higher than last years report and for the first time in history streaming has surpassed digital music sales. Honestly though, are any of us surprised?
While streaming services have made access to music much easier and readily accessible, it has made a huge wave in the financial aspect of releasing records. While digital distribution via music marketplaces like iTunes and Beatport return typical payment, music streaming returns a very odd type of royalty to artists. For example, you may buy a tune on iTunes for $1.29 and that money will be returned to the parties involved in that release and then split into predetermined percentages. When a song is streamed on Spotify however, the artist will only see on average $0.004891 per stream according to an article posted on Digital Music News a little less than a year ago.
I haven't been able to formulate an opinion on this payout number yet, but it does seem quite low. Though some artist have been streamed over 1 billion times, so $0.004891 x 1,000,000,000 is still a pretty penny. Artist like Drake, who is responsible for over 5.4 Billion streams, probably don't see much of a difference between the declining digital download market and the low streaming payout. In fact, artist who fall into the Hip-Hop/R&B genres are pulling almost all of the streaming numbers, as they are credited for 22% of all music listening and 28% of streams.
With all of this talk of digital music, don't forget about ole' faithful vinyl. Vinyl reportedly had it's biggest year since 1991 with 13 million in sales in 2016. So, we are in a weird time of retro listening coming back up and music streaming taking over digital sales. That being said, 2017 is most likely going to be a strange combination of the 80's and futuristic boomboxes that fit in the palm of your hand and can play any song in the world with touch of the screen.