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Streaming music service sales exceed CD sales in US

Posted March. 20, 2015 07:18,   


The value of streaming music service sales have surpassed that of music CD sales in the U.S. market, and is threatening the stronghold of digital music download, the biggest source of income, the Internet edition of the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

With streaming service, if one pays a fixed amount of about 10 dollars per month, one is allowed to listen to an unlimited amount of music as he or she pleases. In comparison, with digital download, one can download a song into the computer and own it, but this requires relatively high costs. Taylor Swift, a world-renowned pop star, deleted the entire sound sources of her music from streaming services, claiming that streaming service sells the creator’s copyrights at fire sale prices.

Even so, streaming service providers raked in 1.87 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 29 percent from the previous year. This translates into 27 percent of all sales (6.97 billion dollars). In comparison, CD sales only stood at 1.85 billion dollars, down as much as 12.7 percent. Digital music download, which accounted for 37 percent of all music sales, amounted to 2.58 billion dollars in total. The amount has been steadily declining since peaking at 2.9 billion dollars in 2012.

“The music business continues to undergo a staggering transformation,” said Cary Sherman, chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). “Record companies are now digital music firms, earning more than two-thirds of their revenues from a variety of digital formats." However, the U.S. music market is experiencing a period of slump for five consecutive years. For this reason, some justifiably claim that an expansion of streaming service sales leads to reduction of overall income from sound sources.