Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Cloud Media Music The Almighty Buck Entertainment

Music Streaming Sales Outstrip Digital Downloads For First Time (thestack.com) 74

An anonymous reader writes with this news, which might worry you if you'd like your music (or videos, or books) to be safely stored on your local PC, phone, or offline storage: Music streaming has surpassed digital downloads in terms of revenue, according to a report released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Its 'News and Notes on 2015' review shows that music streaming in the U.S. brought in 34.3% of the overall revenue for the year – generating $2.4 billion out of a total $7 billion. If the numbers are accurate, streaming beat music downloads by 0.3%. While this growth is an encouraging result for those in the industry backing streaming services like Spotify and the new Apple Music, many remain unconvinced of its value. RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman noted an 'alarming' disparity between the growth in the number of ad-supported streams, and the growth in revenues generated by these.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Music Streaming Sales Outstrip Digital Downloads For First Time

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @09:04AM (#51760127)

    They have a warmer sound!

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @09:13AM (#51760187)

    So I have it whenever and wherever I want

    Music is something you listen to many times, it is inefficient to stream it every time (especially if you're outside your Wifi and would have to pay your mobile carrier for extra data use.

    • For most people Music is disposable. The biggest "artists" right now are Adele, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Drake. Their current "hits" will be listened to for a couple of months and then discarded. This is why streaming music is so successful. It isn't worth the $0.99 investment to download it.
      • The biggest "artists" right now are Adele, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Drake.

        I've heard of 3 of them, and can say I'm only familiar with any songs from one of them. It might be time to accept the fact that I'm out of touch with the popular music crowd.

        This makes me happy.

        • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

          I've got you beat. I've only heard of two. Though I might have accidentally seen Taylor Swift before a movie once. Unless that was some other blonde. Wait, why do I think Taylor Swift is a blonde? How would I know that? Regardless, I think I'm still out-old-fogeying you, a little.

          More on topic, I do like streaming services, mostly to plug in bands I already like and then discover ones I didn't know. Usually I'm discovering songs that aren't "new" -- often they're a decade or more old -- but they're new to m

  • by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @09:24AM (#51760239)
    Steaming music subscription instead of MP3s/CDs. Video streaming subscription instead of DVDs. Satellite radio instead of free radio. Cable TV instead of OTA. Pay-to-play games instead of one-time-cost games. Office365 instead of MS Office Suite. Hell, Windows 10 is the last Windows OS [theverge.com] that you can "own" instead of "rent" (where "own" means a perpetual license and "rent" means time-limited license). This is all part of a wider trend to a Rentier Economy where ownership is a privilege only the very rich can afford and everyone else is on a treadmill of ever-increasing subscription fees.
    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      A big difference for music & video is that new content is available and you won't necessarily be interested in listening to the old stuff. That is a big distinction between content & applications like office where the old software is probably good enough for a decade.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Amazingly enough, a lot of people still listen to music created in the 1990s, 80s, 70s and even 60s and 50s. Just because millennials only care about the flavor of the month doesn't mean everybody is as fickle as that.

        Some of my most heavily played tracks are from CDs I bought 25 years ago. I can listen to that same music for the next 25 years without paying anyone another damn penny.

        So tell me again how software 'good enough for a decade' is worth buying while music I might enjoy for 50 years isn't.
        • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

          Absolutely, some of the older stuff sticks with you forever. On the other hand, looking at my CD collection mostly amassed during the 90's, I'd say half or more could have been a rental. Having both options available is probably better than having only one choice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Who cares? We get access to the same stuff cheaper, and use the savings to access more stuff the rich used to have all to themselves. Your philosophical bullshit doesn't hold up much when food was 30% of the household income in 1950 and is 11% now, while cell phones went from $4,000 and $50/month plus 40 cents/minute in 1983 to $350 smart phone and $60 unlimited voice and data. By the way, that cell phone would be over $9,000 today, and you'd pay $550/month to talk for 2 hours per week.

    • The cost of discovering new content is much lower for streaming services compared to pay to own.

      Spotify costs me the same per month no matter how many tracks from how many artists I listen to. The service encourages me to try new things and they also curate playlists like New Music Friday and Discover Weekly. With pay to own I have to buy the entire album whether I end up listening to one track once, or all of the tracks many times.

      There's also the convenience factor of streaming services. I did rip my

      • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

        Here in the UK Spotify costs £9.99 a month which is a whole 16p more than Adele's 25 on CD brand new (just to keep it lined up with comments at the top) which is apparently according to Amazon the number one seller in Popular Music.

        If you are willing to buy second hand older stuff is often *MUCH* cheaper, frequently £0.01 plus £1.26 delivery. For example Adel 19 is £4.96 delivered new, One Directions Up All Night is £1.51 delivered. Though music th

    • When you say renting, the term is typically associated with paying someone $x/mo so you can live in an apartment, or drive one pre-selected car..

      With these music and movie streaming services, it's like paying someone $x/mo so you can live in any apartment or drive any car. Use the same one all month, or change to a different apartment/car each day if you want. Even the new model that just completed construction and became available yesterday.

      Heck, if there were a similar service for cars, I daresay
      • by Locando ( 131600 )

        That's already what you can do with Zipcar if you're in their service area, except for the part about using it for a solo daily commute which is completely infeasible. (Of course, the pricing issues there are not entirely disconnected from the terrible economic inefficiency of leaving a vehicle parked at one's workplace for 8+ hours, but North American regional planning on the whole has had little to do with generating economic efficiency, especially since the FDR era in the case of the US.)

  • I'm curious... do record contracts still include clauses requiring the artists to pay for "breakage?" Or, do they now scam artists into paying for "lost packets?"

  • The market adjusted (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The music industry has carefully tried to redefine digital downloads as different from purchases, pushing DRM which is later sunset and stripping us of our first-sale rights with the approval of the courts. Everyone knows that a CD which I can rip, trade or later sell legally is worth more than a digital download which I never really own, but rather license. So, the market adjusted. Streaming is clearly cheaper than amassing an aging collection of purchased music. The digital "licensed" albums were never th

  • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @09:53AM (#51760405) Homepage

    RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman noted an 'alarming' disparity between the growth in the number of ad-supported streams, and the growth in revenues generated by these.

    No, Mr. Sherman, what you are seeing is the competition that results from customers having more choice about formats and having a relatively large number of competing services trying to win customers driving prices down instead of a handful of companies essentially operating a price-fixing cartel and relying on customer lock-in. That you think this is a problem speaks volumes.

    • ...the competition that results from customers having more choice about formats and having a relatively large number of competing services trying to win customers driving prices down instead of a handful of companies essentially operating a price-fixing cartel and relying on customer lock-in.

      TLDR: capitalism

      That you think this is a problem speaks volumes.

      This is true, will be interesting to see if they try to crack down on these "somethingorother" services that are destroying the quality music industry! Or something.

  • by ledow ( 319597 )

    "RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman noted an 'alarming' disparity between the growth in the number of ad-supported streams, and the growth in revenues generated by these."

    Genius-fecking-salesman in charge of an entire industry organisation doesn't understand that just showing a company's advert 100 times to the same viewer instead of just once doesn't automatically mean they'll pay 100 times more to run the ad.

    Anything "ad-supported" is doomed to die the second people get used to the ads, or get bothered by

This restaurant was advertising breakfast any time. So I ordered french toast in the renaissance. - Steven Wright, comedian

Working...