Music Streaming vs. CD Sales #tbt

Nik Sharma
Written by Nik Sharma

After Taylor Swift, Jay Z, and other artists publicly shamed streaming services, this may come as a surprise to many of you; revenue from streaming music only just surpassed that from the sale of CDs for the first time ever. Whaaaat?!

The numbers are finally in, and in 2014, CD sales generated $1.85 billion whereas services like Spotify and Pandora accounted for $1.87 billion. Taylor, care to comment?

It’s kind of hard to believe the tallies are so close, but I suppose there are people out there still purchasing compact discs (#tbt?).

However, those numbers continue to wane as streaming numbers have grown at a steady clip with newer services such as Beats Music, and other music streaming startups around the world enter the marketplace.

In 2013, streaming services made up just 21% of the total revenue for the music industry. In 2014, that number jumped to 27%.

Physical sales, which include CDs and vinyls, made up just around 32% of the industry’s total earnings for 2014.

The revenue from digital downloads also decreased in the past year due to the rise of streaming monsters such as Spotify.

Overall, the music industry generated $6.97 billion from recorded music in 2014, according to The New York Times. The total earnings dipped less than 0.5% from 2013.

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