With 88% of US consumers now carrying smartphones in their pockets, it’s no wonder Nielsen announced that 2016 was the first year in history music streaming superseded digital sales. Streaming video and music had both increased by 50% from 2015 in their mid-year report, and that trend only spiraled upward through the end of the year. It is now safe to say streaming is king of the music industry.
The question remains whether the days of purchasing music from artists are behind us, and specifically if novelty platforms such as vinyl will follow suit. In some markets (such as the UK,) vinyl hovers just over digital sales in popular music consumption methods. Maybe it’s not over, but this new data smells like the beginning of the end.
This is bad news for artist, specifically because of the continuing disputes over compensation for streamed music. From YouTube’s musician payout to ASCAP constantly in court, 2016 exists as proof that social media popularity in the 21st century does not always translate to the highest profit margin, or even the highest overall profit. In fact, the diminishing value of the music industry seems to be correlated to the rise of music streaming as shown below.
However, the popularity of musicians everywhere means the industry is far from over. Instead, it is adapting to survive. That is why in 2017 NiaSounds will begin to offer all of of their artists on Spotify and Pandora.
Contact us for licensing opportunities and to curate a custom soundtrack for your project.