Streaming Music Crosses $1B In US Sales

HardOCP News

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Wait a minute, I thought the RIAA said piracy was killing the industry? So how are massive numbers like this even possible?

The Recording Industry Association of America counted revenue from subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music, radio like Pandora and Sirius XM, and ad-supported operations like Vevo, YouTube and free versions of Spotify. Those sales jumped 23 percent to $1.03 billion.
 

Kalabalana

[H]ard|Gawd
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Impossible, there is no way people actually pay for digital music...
Everything I've been told is a LIE!
 

bloodhawke83

I Strike Fear into the Hearts of the Masses
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Impossible, there is no way people actually pay for digital music...
Everything I've been told is a LIE!

everyone now pays with personal data on "free" apps. anything that is free is using out your personal data and they make money off you.
 

Ocellaris

Fully [H]
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Well I went from spending $0 on music to spending $9.99/month, so they got my money. Also I listen to a shit ton more music and different artists since I now have access to damn near all the music I could ever want.
 

Saist

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Wait a minute, I thought the RIAA said piracy was killing the industry? So how are massive numbers like this even possible?

The Recording Industry Association of America counted revenue from subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music, radio like Pandora and Sirius XM, and ad-supported operations like Vevo, YouTube and free versions of Spotify. Those sales jumped 23 percent to $1.03 billion.

Partially because almost "everybody" is hung up on reporting figures from Spotify or Apple... rather than the juggernaut known as Google Play Music. Even the headline here name checks Spotify, Apple, Pandora, Sirius, and Vevo... but completely fails to mention or note that GPM was bringing in hundreds of millions in 2014.

Assuming that Zahavah Levine's SF MusicTech 2014 figure(s) placed GPM with a low end of $200m to an upper end of $300m~$350m, and GPM was already hauling in 1/5~1/4~1/3 of a cool billion. Assuming on track growth in line with Android Device Growth and GPM likely already crossed the low end of ~$300m with possible high end of $400m~$500m.

Not only has Amazon gotten into the act with Prime Music; Amazon likely pays out on Prime Music with a flat per-prime-subscriber to associated record companies. Firm figures are not yet in place; but it's probably safe to say that Amazon's Prime Music is an easy lock in on Kindle users. We can probably assume that Amazon is likely buying access into the subscription streaming service at the same rate as Google in order to ensure that APM is musically equivalent to GPM. We can therefore likely extrapolate that Amazon is likely paying the same total amounts of financial resources.

In other words; if we assume a ~$300m low-end on GPM, we can likely also assume a ~$300 low-end on APM.

If we assume a ~$500 upper cap on GPM, it's likely that Amazon could also be pushing a ~$500 upper cap.

Little wonder then that the named checked smaller-fish services managed to top $1b revenue. Amazon and Google's interest in subscription streaming alone likely did more than half the total work required to reach figure.
 

nilepez

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Wait a minute, I thought the RIAA said piracy was killing the industry? So how are massive numbers like this even possible?

The Recording Industry Association of America counted revenue from subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music, radio like Pandora and Sirius XM, and ad-supported operations like Vevo, YouTube and free versions of Spotify. Those sales jumped 23 percent to $1.03 billion.

In what world is a billion dollars, spread across several multinational companies and across thousands (millions?) of artists a lot of money?

From 2001 to present, 5 albums have been released that sold more than 20 million copies. Adele's 21 was the last one (breaking a 7 year drought on blockbuster albums.

What's more, up until 2004, the top selling album each year was typically 8-9 million (for that year). Last year 1989 sold less than 4, which was 50% better than the previous year when JT sold less than 3 million (the worst top selling album since records were kept).

Streaming may be better than piracy, but that's like saying, at least the guy siphoning my tank gave me a buck in my mailbox.
 

Unexploded

Limp Gawd
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Who would have thought, charge a reasonable price and make it convenient to access content on multiple platforms and people will actually pay for shit. Go figure.
 
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Well, it's actually a pretty small amount compared to the mighty beast that was once the recording industry.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34268474

It's an interesting read on a guy who knew this downfall was coming, but not the vector. The contraction of individual album sales started before the rise of the internet.

Spotify and other services are just going to speed the inevitable demise of a business model that hasn't been terribly functional since the end of the 80s.
 

Ur_Mom

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I'm 40, so this is a "get off my lawn" post -

Music sucks these days. There are a few good songs, but I'd buy the single (extremely easy) and not the whole album. I don't buy much music anymore. I have all my old CD's ripped, and buy a few albums a year.

Really, though, I think some of it is due to streaming and others from ease of obtaining music (from friends, piracy, YouTube, etc.) though means that are not paying the artist.

What's worse - Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden is considered classic rock.
 

nilepez

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I'm 40, so this is a "get off my lawn" post -

Music sucks these days. There are a few good songs, but I'd buy the single (extremely easy) and not the whole album. I don't buy much music anymore. I have all my old CD's ripped, and buy a few albums a year.

Really, though, I think some of it is due to streaming and others from ease of obtaining music (from friends, piracy, YouTube, etc.) though means that are not paying the artist.

What's worse - Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden is considered classic rock.

There's good music out there, you just gotta look. Of course if you're looking for music that sounds like 20 years ago, you're probably going to be disappointed (though PJ's last album was pretty damn good). That said, I couldn't tell you what's popular. I quit listening to commercial stations around 98, when radio took a nose dive (thanks CC for buying every station).
 

Ocellaris

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I'm 40, so this is a "get off my lawn" post -

Music sucks these days. There are a few good songs, but I'd buy the single (extremely easy) and not the whole album. I don't buy much music anymore. I have all my old CD's ripped, and buy a few albums a year.

Really, though, I think some of it is due to streaming and others from ease of obtaining music (from friends, piracy, YouTube, etc.) though means that are not paying the artist.

What's worse - Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden is considered classic rock.

Gotta say I though this too, however using the streaming services has turned that around. I started just listening to old shit I like, that resulted in me find new music that I like, so I listened to those bands and kept finding more and more good recent music. I barely listen to anything pre 2005 now. Also I listened to some bands now that I absolutely never thought I would be listening to before I started doing this.
 
Joined
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I'm 40, so this is a "get off my lawn" post -

Music sucks these days. There are a few good songs, but I'd buy the single (extremely easy) and not the whole album. I don't buy much music anymore. I have all my old CD's ripped, and buy a few albums a year.

Really, though, I think some of it is due to streaming and others from ease of obtaining music (from friends, piracy, YouTube, etc.) though means that are not paying the artist.

What's worse - Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden is considered classic rock.

I'm 43, and I don't subscribe to any streaming services, but I do still buy albums, mostly as digital downloads from Amazon and occasionally directly from the artists' own websites if Amazon isn't an option. I'll only buy CDs if the album either isn't available at all as a legal digital download or if it's something special like Rock Candy Records and its remastered editions of classic hard rock and heavy metal albums of the 70s and 80s.

I was surprised when, by the year 2000, 80s metal started making its way into the classic rock radio stations' rotation, and inevitably that grew to absorb late 80s and early 90s grunge by 2010. My hunger for collecting albums remains insatiable, however, as I keep discovering more obscure bands the further into a genre I explore.

Everybody has heard of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana, but fewer people are aware of other excellent Seattle grunge bands like Skin Yard, Tad, and Gruntruck, for example. I relatively recently started collecting more albums from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) category, and it seems like my collection will never quite be complete, even though that kind of music, apart from a few newer retro acts, only lasted from the late 70s through the early 80s. Motorhead, Saxon, and early Def Leppard are all well and good, but tracking down or even hearing about material by their NWOBHM contemporaries like Soldier, Witchfynde, and Holocaust requires a little more effort.
 

Hornet

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Instead of stubbornly fighting against people going to Youtube to listen to their favorite songs, the music industry should have instead asked themself why are people doing that. They could have came up with Spotify themself years ago if they had any common sense.
 
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Instead of stubbornly fighting against people going to Youtube to listen to their favorite songs, the music industry should have instead asked themself why are people doing that. They could have came up with Spotify themself years ago if they had any common sense.

Youtube often provides links to Amazon and Itunes so that people can buy the music being played, and I hope that its Google AdSense program pays whoever owns the music just as it does other providers of original content who have monetized their videos.
 

TechLarry

RIP [H] Brother - June 1, 2022
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everyone now pays with personal data on "free" apps. anything that is free is using out your personal data and they make money off you.

Unless it's Angry Birds 2. Then you pay with money, blood, advertising until your nuts hurt, and a requirement to pray to the great Zuckerberg.
 

TechLarry

RIP [H] Brother - June 1, 2022
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Oh, and while the iTunes interface sucks wind, you can't beat the $9.99 service with a stick.
 

Ur_Mom

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Everybody has heard of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana, but fewer people are aware of other excellent Seattle grunge bands like Skin Yard, Tad, and Gruntruck, for example.

Because they aren't played on classic rock stations (and Sirius XM isn't any better). Even Seattle's stations (The End) doesn't even play the lesser known ones. Grunge was when I broke out of the 80's hair bands and discovered the wide range of lesser known bands and the good mainstream bands, so my collection there is huge. Modern stuff, though, I find it hard to find good stuff. I have found a great new appreciation for older country music, though (which was a genre that I HATED when I was younger).

Of course, there are some good newer bands. Just not nearly as much that get my attention that they used to. I am one of the few people that admit to liking Nickleback, though. Leader of Men was good.
 

XvMMvX

[H]ard|Gawd
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I don't want phsycal CDs anymore, those are left in 1999. I also got tired of trying to tag, organize, and sync all of my damn MP3s. It was a pain in the ass when every time I wanted something new on a device I had to go to my computer.

For $9.99/Mo (x2 for the wife and I) it all was fixed. All I had to do was search and tag a song to add it to my library. The data usage is minimal through Spotify as well.
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
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Someone mentioned a billion isnt a lot of money for the industry. It says a billion from streaming. It didn't say that they weren't making money in other ways, like digital downloads, vinyl, cd's, dvds, advertising, membership fees, merchandise sales and royalties, concerts, etc. The music industry is still very , very large.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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I'm 40, so this is a "get off my lawn" post -

Music sucks these days. There are a few good songs, but I'd buy the single (extremely easy) and not the whole album. I don't buy much music anymore. I have all my old CD's ripped, and buy a few albums a year.

Really, though, I think some of it is due to streaming and others from ease of obtaining music (from friends, piracy, YouTube, etc.) though means that are not paying the artist.

What's worse - Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden is considered classic rock.

Well, you don't have to be old to realize that there's no good music around and that it's really not worth paying money to listen to anything. I'm like only a tenth of your age and I would MUCH rather have silence when I'm hanging out instead of music. Bands, people singing, people playing instruments, all that stuff totally sucks and I can't stand the constant noise. Maybe it's because I don't do the TV addiction or the videos thing where people are weirded out by quiet, but yeah, I much, much prefer hearing nothing so when it's nice and quiet because there's no TV in my home and I can hear my happy cat snoozing away in the laptop bag she stole and claimed as her bed, the last thing I want to do is fill that peaceful quiet with awful music of any sort.
 

Darunion

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Well, you don't have to be old to realize that there's no good music around and that it's really not worth paying money to listen to anything. I'm like only a tenth of your age and I would MUCH rather have silence when I'm hanging out instead of music. Bands, people singing, people playing instruments, all that stuff totally sucks and I can't stand the constant noise. Maybe it's because I don't do the TV addiction or the videos thing where people are weirded out by quiet, but yeah, I much, much prefer hearing nothing so when it's nice and quiet because there's no TV in my home and I can hear my happy cat snoozing away in the laptop bag she stole and claimed as her bed, the last thing I want to do is fill that peaceful quiet with awful music of any sort.

When I lived in my apartment tower, i always had music on. It was the only way to keep me from hearing all the chaos and commotion. Now that I live basically surrounded by corn and bean fields, i typically just enjoy the sound of birds (and the train that comes by every 15 mins) and just the wind in the trees. When I am at work I usually listen to music. Hmm now that I am typing this out, I feel like all I do anymore is use music to drown out something unpleasant...
 

SLee

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Someone mentioned a billion isnt a lot of money for the industry. It says a billion from streaming. It didn't say that they weren't making money in other ways, like digital downloads, vinyl, cd's, dvds, advertising, membership fees, merchandise sales and royalties, concerts, etc. The music industry is still very , very large.
It is, but it's still a shadow of what it once was; even as other entertainment options like TV, movies, sports, video games have all grown massively in the same time frame.

In 1999, global music revenues were in the range of $30 billion, now it's about $15 billion.
 

nilepez

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I don't want phsycal CDs anymore, those are left in 1999. I also got tired of trying to tag, organize, and sync all of my damn MP3s. It was a pain in the ass when every time I wanted something new on a device I had to go to my computer.

For $9.99/Mo (x2 for the wife and I) it all was fixed. All I had to do was search and tag a song to add it to my library. The data usage is minimal through Spotify as well.

I buy CD's, and DB Poweramp takes care of all the tagging for me (with very few exceptions). I'd rather have a physical backup as well as a lossless FLAC copy on my HD. My server does a great job of converting it to Vorbis or MP3 on the fly.
 

groebuck

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Remember the blurred lines trial? It was revealed in that trial that the one song, just one hit song, made 14.5 million.
 

travbrad

[H]ard|Gawd
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I wonder how much the actual artists got though. The record companies seem to pocket most of the money no matter what technology we use (vinyl, tapes, CDs, mp3s, streaming)
 

travbrad

[H]ard|Gawd
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And for the people complaining there's no good music anymore. There is good music being made in almost every genre of music still. You just won't hear it on most radio stations or even streaming services without digging a lot. It takes effort to find the good stuff, which I know not everyone is willing to do.
 

Ur_Mom

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And for the people complaining there's no good music anymore. There is good music being made in almost every genre of music still. You just won't hear it on most radio stations or even streaming services without digging a lot. It takes effort to find the good stuff, which I know not everyone is willing to do.

Yea, it takes a lot of digging. Streaming, radio, satellite radio still only play the mainstream music. Even if you find one that plays the lesser known ones, they are still playing their top hits and nothing else off the album (which may be great).

I just don't have the time to go digging, really. I used to. Just not so much anymore.
 

Darunion

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And for the people complaining there's no good music anymore. There is good music being made in almost every genre of music still. You just won't hear it on most radio stations or even streaming services without digging a lot. It takes effort to find the good stuff, which I know not everyone is willing to do.

I wait for the hipsters to talk about how they found an awesome band on facebook then I click the link. Other than that, random or whatever I currently have is what I listen to.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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And for the people complaining there's no good music anymore. There is good music being made in almost every genre of music still. You just won't hear it on most radio stations or even streaming services without digging a lot. It takes effort to find the good stuff, which I know not everyone is willing to do.

Wrong. ALL. MUSIC. SUCKS. There's no discussion, no debate, no argument. Music = noise and noise is what people who are TV freaks use to fill the silence in order to hide from their own thoughts because they're scared to think. There has never and will never be any music that's worth listening to and if someone does want to listen to it, you should 100% never, ever date them because they're one of *those* kinds of people who will end up cheating on you or turning into a fat, stinking alcoholic loser who is unemployed because, "Oh, I just haven't found a job that's going to be good enough for me." Pfft...whatever music loser. Have fun being single or hooking up with some other dumb music person.
 

big_aug

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I've been subscribing to Google Play Music for a few years bow. Best $10/month I've ever spent. I had both GPM and Spotify for a while, but Spotify is absolutely terrible when compared to GPM. I had a really long free trial and I had to force myself to even use it. It's pretty bad.

And those saying "no good new music" are out of their minds. I find new shit almost every day on GPM. I feel sorry for people not subbing. I expect prices to go up wwuite a bit. I know it's going to happen because $10 a month is too good to be true. Hell, I'd still feel like I'm getting my money's worth and more at $25/month so there is no doubt prices will go up.
 
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