Streaming music revenues increase by 40 % in 2012, music downloads up by 8.5%

Streaming music is now the fastest growing sector in the music industry and has overtaken music downloads when it comes to generating revenue.

This contribution by digital music to artists’ revenues is best explained by Martin Mills, founder of Adele’s record label XL, who says, “Some of our catalogue artists earn more from streams than downloads of individual tracks [or] any other format. If we didn’t have digital we wouldn’t have a business. Physical is still important to us but the lesson we learned over last few years is that you have to strike a balance between giving people what they want on the one hand and actually being a business [and charging for content].”

Just as Mills explains, CDs and vinyl still brings in a major chunk of the revenues, almost 61% of revenues from music sold worldwide, as reported by Strategy Analytics, an industry watcher. However, revenues from downloads have increased by 8.5 % this year and streaming has risen to about 40 % from last year.

Statistics from music industries around the world concur with this research as free streaming services grossed 3 million pounds (a 20% increase from the previous year) while subscription-based services brought in approximately 9 million pounds, also registering a substantial increase from the previous year.

On-demand services such as Spotify and We7 alone have generated 696 million pounds in all globally and will almost pay double the amount in royalties to artists this year as opposed to the 180 million pounds paid out last year.