Revenue from Apps will be Bigger than Revenue from Music in 2016

To give you an idea just how much the world has changed in the last fifteen years, revenue from apps–which have existed for less than a decade–are set to overtake sales of recorded music at some point this year.

Predictions by Price Waterhouse Cooper put 2016 global app revenue at around $51 billion USD this year while the music industry will only bring in $46 billion USD. This shows two things: (a) the rapid development and growth of the app business thanks to smartphone adoption; and (b) the decline at which people are actually buying music.

On its current trajectory, app revenue will hit $100 million USD by 2020, thanks largely to the adoption of smartphones in emerging markets like India, China and Indonesia. China itself will be a bigger app market than the US by June. This June.

Music will recover slightly but probably not much above $48 billion USD in the same period.

Why is music still in the doldrums? Because music consumers are now segmented into three groups.

  • Old-School: These people still buy CDs and vinyl exclusively. However, they’re getting older and they’re not inclined to buy a lot of physical product from contemporary acts.
  • Transition Music Fans: They remember what it was like to buy CDs, but they’re buying less because iTunes is more convenient. They’re also dabbling in not buying anything and instead trying out streaming.
  • Digital Natives: They’re young. They’ve never lived without the Internet. They’ve never bought a CD. In fact, they’ve never paid a cent for music and have no concept of why they should. Good luck in bringing them into the fold.

(Via the Telegraph)


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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