Streaming, particularly YouTube and Spotify plus Apple and Amazon recently-launched streaming
services are counted in these stats as "digital" sales. What is not counted is illegal download
sites and other stealing, but I wonder exactly how much that amounts to these days. All of these
streaming services offer all you can hear or just about all you can hear with a free subscription
(generally ad-supported). So I doubt that too many people go to great lengths to steal MP3 downloads
The bottom line numbers suggest there is a serious decline in music retail spending. Some of it has
been due to the lower cost per song for streaming and some downloads, and some due to theft. But,
there's been nearly a 2/3 decline since 1996 while the population and GDP have risen substantially.
That simply equates to much less music retail per capita, ie less music consumption.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Hugh Paterson III" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 3:05 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Depressing stats for fans of recorded music and fans of physical product
> Without reading the original article, it seems that they are trying to put
> a metric on media consumption. In the 1990s/2000s I bought CD
> subscriptions, now I buy media streaming. So, it is like comparing apples
> and oranges, because some of the physical distribution before was about
> supplying the demand for the equivalent of "streaming". I go to YouTube to
> listen to music, when I want to hear a song I don't currently have on the
> device I have with me. I don't think society at large has stopped
> appreciating music, only that what we are paying for is not as trackable
> (by the same metrics).
> - Hugh
> On Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 10:59 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> Reported in today's Wall Street Journal, with an equally depressing
>> 1. 1996 global music sales as reported by International Federation of the
>> Phonographic Industry: $40 billion.
>> 2. 2004 global music sales as reported by IFPI: $21 billion.
>> 3. 2015 global music sales as reported by IFPI: about $15 billion.
>> 3a. World population in 1996 was about 5.8 billion. In 2014, it was 7.2
>> billion (U.N. figures)
>> 3b. 1996-2014, global gross domestic product from about 40 trillion US
>> dollars to over 100 trillion US dollars (economywatch.com)
>> 4. In 2015, for the first time, downloads and streaming sales total was
>> higher than CDs and other physical media: $6.9b vs. $6.8b. (the remaining
>> $1.3 billion in sales came from radio airplay and songs licensed for movies
>> and video).
>> 5. Net-net, phyiscal media is now about 45% of total music sales, and
>> still losing ground. Streaming/subscription is the growth area. Downloads
>> are also sliding. The world of artwork, physical product and ownership of
>> one's purchased music is slipping away. Furthermore, recorded music appears
>> to be of declining value to an increasing world population with increased
>> spending power.