Music Streaming And The (Possible) Death Of iTunes

Music Streaming And The (Possible) Death Of iTunes
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, esteemed Aussie scribe John Birmingham casts a keen eye over music streaming services and suggests, for many, the future looks bleak…

Subscription services have replaced downloads in the US as the largest revenue source for the music industry. Apple Music hasn’t quite cannibalised iTunes yet, but the trend line is indisputable. The Recording Industry Association of America has just dropped figures for 2015, and the biggest profit centres for music companies were paid streaming services or ad-supported platforms such as YouTube or Spotify’s free tier.

Unknown

Fortune reports that streaming delivered 34.3 per cent of US music industry revenue, at $US2.4 billion. Digital downloads — which mostly means iTunes — dropped from utter dominance to squeak into second place at 34 per cent of sales. Physical formats made up the rest of the pie.

Digging in deep, however, throws up some curious finds. Not all streaming services are created equal. YouTube is far and away the most popular delivery channel for streamed music, especially among the younger demographics. But the ’Tube is ad-supported. A recent foray into a paid subscription service has not delivered many paying punters.

The paltry returns from the ad-based channel can be seen in the greater sum earned by sales of vinyl. Old school platters have enjoyed something of a hipster-led revival, paying out $US416 million in the last year — appreciably more than Spotify or YouTube ads, which coughed up less than $US400 million for the whole sector.

As the money moves to subscriptions, the industry faces another shakeout. Indeed, shakeout seems to be the default condition for the music biz. The much-admired, technically elegant Rdio shut up shop at the start of the year, following Sony’s paid streaming service into oblivion. Apple bought Beats Music (and headphone business) to provide the core of its subscription service. Industry veterans like Pandora and Deezer are casting about for capital, partners or simple lifelines to stay afloat.

The most likely future for streaming music is as a perk — a low cost offering, possibly subsidised, by the tech giants as an enticement into their wider ecologies. Apple, Google and Amazon all have bets on in this race.

The most likely future for artists is playing live gigs for beer money.

This article originally appeared on B&T’s sister business site www.which-50.com

Please login with linkedin to comment

ADMA Creative School Animation CC's Designworks Hat Tip Le Figaro The Conversation

Latest News

WPP Q3 Revenues Fall 7.6% YOY
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

WPP Q3 Revenues Fall 7.6% YOY

Work at WPP? Down to the last notch on your belt? Well, expect a little more tightening judging by these numbers.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Inner Health’s Iconic Blue Bugs Are Back In New Brand Platform Via VMLY&R
  • Media

Inner Health’s Iconic Blue Bugs Are Back In New Brand Platform Via VMLY&R

Inner Health has revolutionised its famous blue bugs as part of a new brand platform launching this week.  Developed by VMLY&R, the new platform ‘Listen to your Gut’ re-introduces the bugs in a whole new environment.  VMLY&R Client Service Director Jo Millington said the new platform aimed to reposition Inner Health as an overall health […]

MINT Expands Technology Portfolio With The Addition Of Audio Brand Bang & Olufsen
  • Media

MINT Expands Technology Portfolio With The Addition Of Audio Brand Bang & Olufsen

Insight-led communications consultancy, The Mint Partners has expanded its technology portfolio with the addition of luxury audio lifestyle brand Bang & Olufsen. Founded in 1925 in Struer, Denmark, Bang & Olufsen has pushed the boundaries of audio technology for almost a century. The company continues to be at the forefront of acoustic innovation with its […]

RAC Insurance Tells WA Locals “We See What You See” In New Spot Via Wunderman Thompson
  • Campaigns

RAC Insurance Tells WA Locals “We See What You See” In New Spot Via Wunderman Thompson

WA car and home insurer, RAC has launched a new campaign to show locals that they understand the priceless relationship members have with their belongings. Created by Wunderman Thompson Perth, the campaign titled ‘We See What You See’ uses computer generated imagery (CGI) to depict the unique relationship a family has with their insured items – […]

TPG Telecom Appoints Paper Moose As Creative Agency For New Brand Felix
  • Campaigns

TPG Telecom Appoints Paper Moose As Creative Agency For New Brand Felix

Paper Moose has created a campaign for the recently announced carbon-neutral telco brand, felix, due to go to market towards the end of the year. This is the first work from Paper Moose since winning a competitive pitch for the new TPG Telecom brand. The teaser campaign raises awareness of the nearly 1 million tonnes […]