An interesting read from Time:
U.S. digital track sales decreased for the first time ever in 2013, dropping from 1.34 billion to 1.26 billion, according to Nielsen SoundScan. CD sales also continued their ongoing decline, dropping 14 percent to 165 million. Digital album sales were stable, staying at 118 million sold last year. Meanwhile the number of songs streamed through services like Spotify, YouTube and Rhapsody increased 32 percent to 118.1 billion.
The rise of streaming has been swift. Spotify just arrived on U.S. shores in the summer of 2011, but it has become a lightning rod for controversy thanks to a chorus of artists who decry that paying musicians a fraction of a cent per listen is unfair. Make no mistake, though: this model is the future. Both YouTube and Beats Electronics are planning to launch paid streaming services early this year, and the French company Deezer is expected to bring its popular service to American shores soon. Even Apple, the king of digital sales, has dipped a toe into the streaming space by launching the Pandora competitor iTunes Radio.
Read more. This will be a big story throughout 2014. And you wonder why the music industry isn’t keen on having Spotify enter the Canadian market… Thanks to Rupinder for the link.