A recent trade study of the music business during 2014 (reported by Musically) established that digital revenues worldwide were up 6.9% in value last year (2014) to $6.85bn. The growth was stunted due to downloads (the iTunes model) dropping by 8% overall (10.9% for single tracks and 4.2% for digital albums). Streaming (the Spotify model) was up by 39% ($1.57bn) representing 23% of total digital income, taking up the slack caused by the loss in download revenue, (CD sales were down by 8%) streaming up by 18% on 2013 with Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Napster, Tidal and others achieving 41million paying subscribers. This represents a growth of over 500% since 2010 and a 40% increase over 2013. Global sales as a whole including all formats were down 0.4% overall. The industry feeling is that this is encouraging and suggests that the market drop since the turn of the millennium is reaching a turning point.
The industry will have to watch 2015 very carefully as to how much music sales (CDs and downloads) decline this year and monitor the growth in streaming versus the fall in other formats to establish the shape of the evolving music industry.