Streaming was supposed to save the music industry or so they thought. Streaming has yet to off center the loss of music sales, in fact it seems that streaming has added to the problems of depleting sales. The streaming was supposed to be the new radio, where listeners could discover new music and then purchase. Streaming is far from that. It has made music consumption easier for the listener and added a price tag of free. Consumers were supposed to buy into the idea of paying for a monthly subscription, while subscription services faded away from the free model. However, the track record shows that consumers are stuck in the free mode. These subscription services have playing lists that cater to consumers taste as well as listening habits. Might I add, these services can be used everywhere from the gym, office, home, and soon car. Streaming is not only killing download sales, but it generated low profits if any. With more competitors jumping into the streaming market, these companies must cut profits to compete. I feel these streaming companies are at a death match that will leave few standing in the end.
The music industry was once fighting a campaign against piracy, the enemy that took profits away. Now that piracy is somewhat under control, we have hit the self-destruction button by shaking hands with streaming and subscription services. The true enemies are these companies that have devalued music even more. The music industry has lost control of the distribution and the pricing of its music. For a decade the music industry has met price and demands of second and third party distributors. In doing so, the value of music has suffered and has hit a place of no return. In a world where big box retailers sell CD’s for $9.99 and where streaming services pay three fourths of a penny per stream. It’s no wonder why consumers do not see the value of music and the streaming services.
The numbers don’t lie. According to Nielsen SoundScan, in 2013 digital track sales fell 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units and digital albums sales fell 0.1% to 117.6 million units from the previous year’s total of 117.7 million. 2013 also brought us 223 billion global streams, which was a 140% increase in streaming activity from 2012. Streaming is at an all time high and keeps on rising. Streaming is most definitely killing the download.