Music sales down, streaming up in 2014
It has become clear in the music industry that with the growth of technology, there has been a shift from buying singles and albums to streaming them on platforms such as Spotify and SoundCloud. Nielsen SoundScan, an information and sales tracking system, just released their numbers for 2014, and it reaffirms the progression of the shift from buying to streaming. From 2013 to 2014, overall streaming demand skyrocketed 54% from 101 billion to 164 billion streams last year. On the buying spectrum, overall album sales dropped a whopping 11% while digital albums and digital singles followed with declines of 9% and 12% respectively.
“Digital music consumption continues its robust growth, with On-Demand streaming up 54% over last year and 164 billion song streams being played in 2014 ,” says David Bakula, SVP Industry Insights, Nielsen Entertainment.
Despite overall sales declines, vinyl sales provided the silver lining with a record-breaking increase of 52% jumping from 6.1 million in 2013 to 9.2 million in 2014 – the highest increase in almost 25 years. To summarize, consumers are tending to turn to streaming services to borrow music at a monthly price rather than buying on a song-per-song basis or full albums. This should be great new for Spotify and SoundCloud while Beatport and other song-purchasing platforms may have to look towards the streaming option.