Digital music sales dropped 9% in 2014 while streaming surged 54%

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 68
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,472member
    magman1979 wrote: »
    Holy freaking crap, I knew artists didn't get much out of an album or individual track sale on the likes of iTunes, but seeing the figures for streaming, iTunes is a gold mine compared to the scrap metal you get with streaming!

    Why in the hell would artists go along with this???

    Now you know why Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog off of Pandora.
  • Reply 22 of 68
    adybadyb Posts: 199member
    philboogie wrote: »
    The increase in streaming and decline in purchasing doesn't surprise me. What is interesting, to me, is the increase in sales of vynil. I wonder if people are buying the 180-220 grams en masse(?)

    Most of the new vinyl that I acquire nowadays is 180 gram - the 2 LPs my daughter got me for Christmas were both 180g. Quality of the pressing is usually better (but not always) with the increased weight but with a reasonable turntable (I have a Rega RP6) and a decent recording, the sound that can be produced is breathtaking.

    I probably get my music split 50% CD, 40% vinyl & 10% download but I would get more on vinyl if it were available.
  • Reply 23 of 68

    I've stopped buying music with the exception of some Beatles recently as their entire catalog is on sale on iTunes.

     

    Streaming, largely, has won.

     

    I listen to many online radio stations and stream Spotify. Cancelled Sirius/XM in my car. I just stream from my iPhone to my car's head unit.

     

    I'm hoping that Apple will roll Beats Music into iTunes Match/Radio.

     

    Then I will dump Spotify.

  • Reply 24 of 68
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Saturn is missing its rings, and Jupiter's missing that big storm thingy. ;)

    Edit: thanks for leaving out Uranus :lol:

    I was shocked how big Uranus is if you don't mind me saying! :D


  • Reply 25 of 68
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    I was shocked how big Uranus is if you don't mind me saying! :D



    Cool video, thanks.
  • Reply 26 of 68
    paxman wrote: »
    If you no longer listen to new music, or if any new music you ever hear is in the radio in your car, streaming is not for you. It tends to happen as we age. You probably own all the music you want by now.

    Actually, at over 70 years of age. I still buy music from iTunes and Amazon. While today's music seems to have more variety then ever before, there are still great songs and sounds being produced, however, like the music of old, there's a lot of crap produced too.
    But if you listen to new music and keep up with what's happening you are probably young (we) and streaming is unquestioningly the best solution.

    I do both. There are times that streaming or listening to what is on my iDevice is the most convenient or practical. There are times I enjoy complete silence, especially when I'm working late at night.
    As far as Apple giving up on music @RadarTheCat, I think you are totally missing the point. Music is the heart and soul. Devices and accessories serve the music. Apple may make its money from the latter but giving up on the former will not happen. They belong together.

    Apple will remain in music, and other media as long as they can see a benefit to the company. It may be not be directly profitable, but there are ways it can support sales of Apple hardware products... the media industry may morph into ways none of us can yet imagine. People write poetry when there's little compensation for doing so, Writing and performing music has a long history before it became big business last century... perhaps it will once again be the provence of starving artists.
  • Reply 27 of 68
    lkrupp wrote: »
    magman1979 wrote: »
    Holy freaking crap, I knew artists didn't get much out of an album or individual track sale on the likes of iTunes, but seeing the figures for streaming, iTunes is a gold mine compared to the scrap metal you get with streaming!

    Why in the hell would artists go along with this???

    Now you know why Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog off of Pandora.

    She's even working on a breakup song about it. :smokey:
  • Reply 28 of 68
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Saturn is missing its rings, and Jupiter's missing that big storm thingy. ;)

    Edit: thanks for leaving out Uranus :lol:

    I was shocked how big Uranus is if you don't mind me saying! :D

    I saw what you did there.... ;)
  • Reply 29 of 68
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    I saw what you did there.... ;)

    It's a respectable size. :lol:
  • Reply 30 of 68
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    It's a respectable size. :lol:

    That's what she said.
  • Reply 31 of 68

    The music industry is multi-dipping into the consumer's pockets.

    For one, we can listen to the top songs on top 40 radio all day! The top songs are played in heavy rotation all day! When we buy products that  support the radio stations we pay the labels for their music.

    Now, when you go and buy that favorite jam from iTunes you have paid the label again! And if you pay for music streaming you are paying them again!!!!!

    It's the same damn music but pumped through different business models. And the goddamn money goes straight to the same freaking people.

    This also happens with television shows.

    You go to the store and you pay for tv via buying the products that support tv shows. You then have cable where you pay the same fu****** people again through your monthly cable bill.LOL! 

    So, you miss the latest episode of the walking dead. No problem! You'll buy it the next day off of iTunes. But you have cable so you already paid for it. And you already paid for it prior when you went to the grocery store and bought products that supports AMC.

    And lets add salt to the wound when you buy the complete season from best buy. More over you pay for the show once more when AMC shows re-runs.

    Get out my face!

  • Reply 32 of 68
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,549moderator
    magman1979 wrote: »
    Holy freaking crap, I knew artists didn't get much out of an album or individual track sale on the likes of iTunes, but seeing the figures for streaming, iTunes is a gold mine compared to the scrap metal you get with streaming!

    Why in the hell would artists go along with this???

    They get exposure. Anything with a paywall gets limited exposure, which is why so many apps are free now so they can go viral more easily and then cash in with IAPs. Music streaming doesn't have an IAP though so once they have enough exposure like Taylor Swift, they're better off just taking the music away from the streaming sites.

    The benefit to both artist and listener is discoverability so Beats streaming with recommended tracks should help that process. It's not a money-maker on its own though, it has to convert to purchases at some point. Apple has the advantage here because they can put streamed tracks right into user's libraries at the click of a button or fingerprint verification.

    What they have to be careful of is not to let their own streaming take away their iTunes revenue because artists will pull their music from iTunes too if it's not generating enough sales.

    More than anything, I'd like to see a Genius recommendation feature that can be enabled. Look at the library, what gets played most and every day pad the library with new artists and tracks to check out. It's not invading privacy when it's an anonymous playlist, it's just linking track, genre and artists titles to let people find similar music to the music they listen to every day. By deleting those tracks, it would also learn what people don't like. Attach buy buttons to each track in the library to keep it. If they don't buy within a given period e.g 14 days (it would have a countdown), remove the tracks from the library. That pushes people to buy music they like.
  • Reply 33 of 68
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,332member
    And Apple still hasn't made iTunes Radio available in the UK.

    Steaming is great for consumers IMO, at least for discovering music that you might then want to buy. The artist will no doubt indirectly make profit from the streamed music this way.

    I think streaming makes more sense with TV shows and movies though (à-la Netflix), since it's pretty common to only watch a show/movie once. You get the advantage of not requiring hordes of disk space too, since you don't actually have the files yourself, though iTunes's re-downloading of purchases is a fix for that. I think the reason iTunes has never been a particularly popular digital source for movies and TV shows is that they don't offer a cheap streaming service like Netflix. I can pay £5.99/month for Netflix and access as many TV shows and movies as I like, but the same £5.99 on iTunes nets me two TV shows or half a movie. It's just unreasonably expensive IMO.
    Marvin wrote: »
    More than anything, I'd like to see a Genius recommendation feature that can be enabled. Look at the library, what gets played most and every day pad the library with new artists and tracks to check out. It's not invading privacy when it's an anonymous playlist, it's just linking track, genre and artists titles to let people find similar music to the music they listen to every day. By deleting those tracks, it would also learn what people don't like. Attach buy buttons to each track in the library to keep it. If they don't buy within a given period e.g 14 days (it would have a countdown), remove the tracks from the library. That pushes people to buy music they like.

    That sounds like a great idea, especially if it worked the same way on iOS too.
  • Reply 34 of 68
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member
    Most people I know just stream music.

    And we should drop the generalizations about age and habits. People of any age can listen to new music and most people have eclectic tastes.

    My tastes have changed over the years, and there are those people from high school who still listen to the same rock and roll.
  • Reply 35 of 68
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,395moderator
    paxman wrote: »
    If you no longer listen to new music, or if any new music you ever hear is in the radio in your car, streaming is not for you. It tends to happen as we age. You probably own all the music you want by now.

    But if you listen to new music and keep up with what's happening you are probably young (we) and streaming is unquestioningly the best solution.

    As far as Apple giving up on music @RadarTheCat, I think you are totally missing the point. Music is the heart and soul. Devices and accessories serve the music. Apple may make its money from the latter but giving up on the former will not happen. They belong together.

    If you read my comment again, you'll see I didn't say anything about Apple giving up on music. My whole argument, perhaps I could have stated it better, is that There's a reason Apple has been late to streaming and when it comes to doing business, Apple knows where the revenues and profits are predominantly going to come from now that music downloads are in serious decline. It's not to switch to streaming. It's to own the premium hardware brands and use streaming to drive consumers to that hardware. This counters a lot of the noise I hear and read about Apple not having a significant share of the streaming market, that other streaming services are beating Apple in that market. There's no money in having the biggest share and that's why Apple seems late; because they didn't need to be a first mover in streaming to eventually incorporate streaming into their overall plan for their future participation in the music industry or to maximize their business prospects associated with music.
  • Reply 36 of 68
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,395moderator
    freerange wrote: »
    The income graphic above is the perfect example of why streaming isn't just a horrible business model, but just plain stupid. The artists are getting totally fk'd... The music industry is shooting itself in the head and can't possibly thrive in any qualitative way when artists can't survive.

    The whole problem of the music industry, and the prospects of artists, or really anyone, making money in streaming might just boil down to the economics that are now able to imposie themselves upon the creation and distribution of music:

    1. High fidelity music is no longer incredibly expensive to create and produce. Except that those who create it and perform it expect to be paid like, well, like rock stars.

    2. Many (most?) artists create for the sake of the art; it defines who they are as a person and as an artist. Musicians, singers and song writers are generally passionate about music and engage in the art long before they are paid to do so. and most will remain engaged if they are never paid.

    3. There are a great many individuals in every society around the world who have both the passion and talent to make and perform music. What percentage of kids would love to be up on stage in front of throngs of adoring fans, even if not getting paid huge sums? In other words, there is ample supply of talent available to step in to the shoes of anyone who demands more compensation than the market will bear.

    4. Technology to create, share, and communicate about music has exploded and is available for nearly zero cost to the vast majority of those who wish to engage in the creation and performance of music.

    What does all of this imply? There will be, and has been, a transformation of the music industry. Among many significant changes will be the way writers, musicians, and performers get paid and how much they get paid. Where else, other than on the baseball fields of America, Cuba, Japan, etc, is there a larger pool of aspiring talent yearning for their time in the sun?  Already artists are getting the short end of the stick in terms of profit sharing. And now the corporates are suffering too. As the pool of talent producing music grows at a faster rate than the market in terms of total dollars spent consuming music through all channels, there will simply be smaller returns for each person participating in the creation and performance of music. The transformation is underway and will not be easily turned back.
  • Reply 37 of 68
    If you wanna say that Spotify "is your radio" that is fine. But you should at least know how much music you are giving up by going that route.

    http://www.perezonomics.com/1/post/2014/12/itunes-vs-spotify-the-real-cost-of-renting-your-music.html
  • Reply 38 of 68
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,586member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post



    It's been my contention since we heard about the Beats deal and it's still my contention that Apple didnt buy Beats so much as a way to get deeper into the world of streaming as it did to add another high-margin hardware product line. 

    Not for the price they paid for Beats, which came with a very high goodwill increment as well as the increment to get Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.  Apple paid $3 billion for Beats.   It would have taken far less money for Apple to have developed their own quality headphone line or to buy one of the other competitors like Ultrasone, Bowers & Wilkins, Grado or possibly even Sennhesier (and there are others).   Some of those companies could probably have been acquired for under $200 million.    Even if they made $100 gross margin per headphone, they'd have to sell 30 million Beats units to pay for the acquisition.   

     

    And I really have to ask what Iovine and Dre have done for Apple so far?  I don't see that they've accomplished anything.   

     

    While Billboard tried to put a good face on those industry stats, they're actually a disaster.   Overall revenue for the industry continues to decline and if you include inflation, the industry is at about 35% of its 1999-2000 peak.    Streaming is making the situation worse, not better.   Why the labels decided to essentially give away their product is beyond me.    I think we're going to see more of the bigger artists holding back their new releases from streaming at least until the initial sales period is over.    

     

    And the substantial percentage increase in LP sales is meaningless because the base is so small.   There have been single albums that have sold over 9 million units - now it's the entire U.S. vinyl industry.      

  • Reply 39 of 68
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,586member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post

     

    I'd like to a see a comparison that more accurately reflects the way I use these services. I buy music that I love, but use Spotify in lieu of the radio, to hear new things outside of my library. I think if you compared radio listens to music purchases at any time in the history of radio, you would get a similarly dramatic comparison. I think the numbers coming out of Spotify confirm that few people are using it in a "deliberate' way, choosing every song that they want to hear (if they were, the per-listen payments would be much higher, given the way they calculate the money distributed to record labels), so a better comparison is probably radio to online service. In other words, if a radio station plays a song once, and there are 20, 000 people listening, how much money does the artist make from those 20,000 listens? Pennies at best, I think--the owner of the publishing rights gets a little something, nobody else gets anything.

     

    I know it's not a perfect comparison, but it may be a better one than the purchase-to-streaming one people are usually making.

     

    Also, I think it's important to note that musicians are rarely making the bulk of their money from album sales, but the online services can help musicians gain exposure, which helps them make more money all of the other ways, like playing shows and getting their music into movies, TV shows, etc.




    The difference is that during the height of music radio, radio (indirectly) sold music.   You heard a song that was being pushed by radio and it usually became a hit and sold a ton of copies.   People wanted to own the music they heard on the radio.

     

    Today's listeners no longer feel the need to own music.   There are many reasons for this, but I won't get into why here, because it doesn't matter for purposes of this discussion.   So they listen to the stream, but the stream hardly does anything for music sales.   So as I've posted above, the U.S. music industry, including all revenue sources and even including licensing revenue, is at about 35% of its 1999-2000 peak.    

     

    Only the biggest artists can earn money touring.   A typical group plays in a 150 seat club that charges $15 admission.   That's $2250 gross of which the band typically gets 70%.    If you've got four band members, they make $394 each a night and that assumes they have no roadies or sound guys or guitar techs.   Out of that, they have to pay all their own travel expenses as well as a manger and agent if they have one.    They all have to have day jobs, but that's impossible if you tour. 

     

    You can make money if you're playing large auditoriums or stadiums, but the costs are enormous.   Top bands who play night after night generally have two complete crews and equipment sets, one of which moves on to set up the next gig.    Then there's money for the managers, agents, roadies, guitar techs, sound mixers, etc.   It's a very tough life and you've got to play all the time to make money.     In order to keep their crew employed, back in the 1970s, Johnny Winter and his brother Edgar would each tour six alternate months of the year and use the same crew. 

     

    And unless you're the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Madonna or Bruce Springsteen, there aren't that many opportunities for licensing and when there are, it's a nice bonus, but it's not a living.   Besides, it's not ethical to say that recording artists don't need to make money from recording.   Too many people are in the business of living off of the work of others without being willing to pay for the privilege.    It's like being forced to work for little or no salary so that you'll get "exposure" to get some freelance gigs.   

  • Reply 40 of 68
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    Actually, at over 70 years of age. I still buy music from iTunes and Amazon. While today's music seems to have more variety then ever before, there are still great songs and sounds being produced, however, like the music of old, there's a lot of crap produced too.

    I do both. There are times that streaming or listening to what is on my iDevice is the most convenient or practical. There are times I enjoy complete silence, especially when I'm working late at night.

     

    Good for you Macky. You're ahead of me and I am a lot younger than you, though no spring chicken! I struggle to keep up and rely on younger family members. My kids, in particular. The older I get the more I appreciate talk radio. There are some great podcasts out there. :)

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