Remember the days when you would wait around all week for Friday – the day when your parents would finally take you to Best Buy – and you’d blow your whole allowance on that brand new P!nk or Backstreet Boys CD? Kids aren’t spending as much on music as they were in the good old days, but the music industry experienced an unexpected 5 percent growth in sales in 2015, and it’s all thanks to streaming.
2015 was the most successful year the music industry has seen in the last 15 years, which makes sense, because streaming and bootlegging has rapidly replaced media stores and MP3s since ever since 2000s rolled around. Despite the drop off in music purchases the last decade and some, this past year the industry reached a whopping $19 billion in sales, bringing the industry revenue up a full 5 percent.
These figures come from industry analysis Futuresource, which examined physical media outlets as well as pay-per-download sites like iTunes, and subscription sites like Spotify. With hugely hyped albums like Beyonce’s Lemonade and Kanye’s Pablo being sold on streaming service Tidal, and with the 2016 release of The Beatles on Spotify, streaming has become significantly more legitimized. What once was associated with ripping music for free and solely for stealing intellectual property is now returning the industry to its former sales glory. However, streaming has not been fully embraced yet by the global community. Countries like Germany and Japan still spend the majority of their music budgets on CDs.
It will be interesting to see how the future of streaming develops even further, potentially on a world-wide scale.