Digital Music Revolution

Digital Music Revolution


Revenue from digital music downloads and subscriptions outpaced CD sales in the U.S. for the first time in 2014.


share Share

Revenue generated by streaming music in 2014 overtook that from CDs, the format that once floated the industry's sales to its high-water mark in the late '90s.

According to data on music sales from the Recording Industry Association of America, sales in the US from streaming music were $1.87 billion in 2014, the RIAA said, while CD sales were $1.85 billion. Streaming revenue which includes subscription services like Spotify and Apple's Beats Music, radio like Pandora and Sirius XM, and ad-supported operations like Vevo, YouTube, and free versions of Spotify, jumped 29 percent in 2014, while CD revenue dropped 12.7 percent.

Meanwhile, digital downloads, the music purchases that typify Apple's iTunes store, still represented the biggest slice of the recording industry's revenue. Their sales fell 8.7 percent to $2.58 billion.

The data illustrates an increasing shift from purchasing music to owning in the form of a downloaded track, CD, record, or cassette tape to a world in which music is increasingly paid for with subscriptions for all-you-can-eat access or with advertising. This underlying change in the music industry has led to outcries from some camps and praise from others.


London Symphony Orchestra

The London Symphony Orchestra was booked to travel on the Titanic's maiden voyage, but they changed boats at the last minute.

Read More
Digital Music Revolution

Revenue from digital music downloads and subscriptions outpaced CD sales in the U.S. for the first time in 2014.

Read More
YouTube

YouTube is the world's largest on-demand music service.

Read More
Effects of Loud Music

Loud music can make a person drink more in less time.

Read More