Market Overview

U.S. Music Sales Down As More Consumers Turn to Online Music Streaming


Music download and CD sales were down as more consumers listen to their favorite music on online streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and YouTube, a new report highlighting the trend revealed in the New York Times.

Citing data from the Recording Industry Association of America, the report revealed that CD sales continued its downward spiral, dropping 19 percent in revenue to $716 million during the first half of the year.

Interestingly, vinyl record (LP) sales grew 43 percent to $146 million, spurred by renewed interest in vinyl collecting among music enthusiasts. The sales represent 4.6 percent of the total industry sales, the report noted.

Downloads, on the other hand, reached $2.2 billion although The New York Times noted that stats were “virtually unchanged,” compared with last year’s figures. According to the report, last year, downloads made up 69 percent of the industry’s revenue, down to 60 percent this year.

Meanwhile, digital sales accounted for 68 percent of the total sales revenue for the music industry in general. Streaming services accounted for 27 percent of the sales revenue.

7.8 million Americans signed up for paid subscriptions to digital services, compared with 6.1 million in 2013.

Overall music sales declined by 4.9 percent from 2013 to below $3.2 billion during the first half of the year, the report said.

According to Nielsen’s Music 360 survey, 93 percent of the American population listens to music and spends over 25 hours each week to the activity.

Out of this number, 59 percent listens to a combination of AM/FM online radio stations, followed by digital playlists (48 percent); on-demand streaming music providers (41 percent); and curated streaming music services (36 percent).

As music sales fluctuate, one way that artists and record companies can boost and keep their sales afloat is by using spoken word audio service and social media platform Audioboom (AIM: BOOM) to release teasers and announcements. For example, artists like Imogen Heap and sir Paul McCartney has used the service with success to promote their upcoming releases to fans.

Imogen Heap has used Audioboom to record live sessions and rehearsals, according to an report. The artist publishes the audio to “tease or test new song ideas and demos,” the report said, quoting an earlier presentation of the company this year.

Paul McCartney, meanwhile, has used the platform, then known as Audioboom, to encourage fans to record audio messages of memories of seeing him play prior to releasing his album, Wings.

Audioboom has relaunched its platform this month along with a new iOS app that streams seamlessly on the iPhone, iPad and iPod. An Android version of the Audioboom app will be launched soon, the company said in a statement.

Audioboom is a software-as-a-service (Saas) solutions provider focused on digital audio broadcasting and cross-platform sharing. The software allows media partners to embed audio clips and playlists on their websites and a variety of online applications for web sharing.

The company works with the biggest names in global media including BBC, the Telegraph, the Guardian, Sky Sports, the Premier League, CNBC and Universal Music Group.

The platform has grown to over 3 million registered users and hit 260 million page impressions in August. It represented over 280 percent growth in impressions from July’s numbers.

Learn more on how to invest in Audioboom through its investor relations website, or by calling its London headquarters at +44 207 403 6688.

The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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