Never mind albums and cassettes. Now CDs and digital downloads have had their day:
For the first time ever, streaming music has eclipsed both of those ways to get music. Streaming from Spotify, Apple, Pandora, even Tidal now accounts for 51% of all music sales according to the RIAA.
The gold record? A thing of the past. There is nothing to frame for the walls of rock stars. Maybe you get a digital wall now, too. In a virtual mansion.
The good news, they say, is that revenue was up for the industry by almost a billion dollars. It’s been flat or down for the last several years.
There are 22.6 million paid streaming subscriptions. (This means everyone else is listening to ads.)
But the bads news is for the artists. Royalties on streaming sales are much lower than downloads or CDs. The artist is suffering. The execs are not. So the Industry is happy.
Actual CDs sold– the total money value was down 20% from 2015 to 2016. Digital permanent downloads were the same or worse– Singles, which everyone thought was driving the business, are down more than albums.