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Music downloads decline, while on-demand audio streaming surges 50% in first half of 2014

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Music downloads decline, while on-demand audio streaming surges 50% in first half of 2014
We’re quickly switching from our habit of purchasing separate albums and songs to paying a monthly fee for unlimited music streaming, according to the latest data from Nielsen. The researcher found that sales of individual songs in the United States fell 13% year-on-year in the first half of 2014, while album downloads declined by 11.6%.

In stark contrast, U.S. on-demand music streaming via apps like Spotify grew 50.1% year-on-year in H1 2014.

“With On-Demand streams surpassing 70 billion songs in the first six months of 2014, streaming continues to be an increasingly significant portion of the music industry,” says David Bakula, SVP of Nielsen Entertainment

If you ever doubted Apple’s motivation for purchasing the Beats Audio music streaming service earlier this year, these latest stats give you a very clear reason for the purchase. Beats’ Music online streaming could in fact provide a lifeline for the declining music sales business for Apple. We know that Apple’s iTunes store in particular has also been affected by this trend, as earlier in May, Apple’s own Eddy Cue admitted that the company’s music sales business was declining.

With all this in mind, take a look at this year’s trends: how much downloads of songs and albums were generated, as well as which ones were the most popular right below.


source: Nielsen via 9to5Mac

19 Comments
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posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:12 2

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2262; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Music Unlimited FTW!

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:17 1

3. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2673; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


True Sony fanboy!

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:24 1

4. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2262; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Fan. No but it's really good.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:51 2

5. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2673; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


You're still a teen, so its legit to call you a boy :D

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:01 1

7. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2262; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Let's make it fan boy not fanboy :)

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 22:19

18. Shatter (Posts: 1968; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Fanboy - A pathetic insult often used by fanboys themselves to try and put down people who don't like whatever it is they like.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:14

2. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2673; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Looks like I'm too old school. :(
Muricans spend too much. Life on EMIs.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:53 3

6. DnB925Art (Posts: 141; Member since: 23 May 2013)


Since I've switched to Google Play Music All Access (Signed up during the $7.99 promo ;) ), I've only maybe bought 2 or 3 songs. The rest I've found on either GPMAA or Soubdcloud.

Now that Sprint has also given me Spotify Premium for free, well all the better and more streaming!

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:34

8. sip1995 (Posts: 660; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


Napster FTW.....btw Frozen is 1st on charts SERIOUSLY....

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:38

9. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Spotify ftw.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 14:49 1

12. Astoni (Posts: 429; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Spotify FTW!

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 14:55 1

13. wilsong17 (Posts: 735; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


youtube ftw and tubemate apk

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 15:12 1

14. Arte-8800 (Posts: 3090; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Viral player

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 15:29

15. wilsong17 (Posts: 735; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


what is viral player

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 15:33 1

16. wilsong17 (Posts: 735; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


nvm wow very nice i just saw on xda

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 19:38

17. Arte-8800 (Posts: 3090; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Similar to Youtube, but this lets you float and resize the player on front of your screen.

Download it and try it.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 22:22

19. Shatter (Posts: 1968; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Youtube music quality is a joke, anything less than 320kbps is bad, high bitrate FLAC preferred whenever possible.. If you can't hear the difference you need to buy some new headphones or get your ears checked.

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