With the new year upon us it often a good time to reminisce on the year that we left behind. The results are in as far as sales numbers go for the music industry and the reality is they are not all that great.
Although streaming music has reached new milestones with over a trillion streams throughout the year this has not translated well into sales. According to reports and data gathered by Rolling Stones Magazine, the music industry has fallen on hard times.
As shown by the chart 2019 may be forever remembered as that year where the old music industry outright died for good. Album sales have dropped to all-time lows. The sale of vinyl albums had been an up and coming market for years to come. With these results, it is pretty clear that it is not going to be a big enough market to be able to make a significant contribution to the industry. Instead, most of the revenue will continue to fall on the shoulders of streaming.
What is the Concern?
Just by looking at the chart one would think that the music industry is setting record numbers in sales and in streaming. These numbers are going to continue to climb for years to come so there is no apparent problem on the horizon. Experts seem to disagree though. The fear is that streaming numbers have very nearly hit their ceiling. Every year since 2015 the market share for streaming has grown by double digits. At this point, it seems that it does not have a lot of room to grow.
Will Album Sales Become Irrelevant?
As was mentioned before the vinyl records industry had seen a very healthy increase in the last couple of years. With CD's totally falling off the map. This particular format is literally going the way of the cassette tape as the new gadgets that are used to play music do not even include a CD player.
Today the trend seems to indicate that the vinyl CD industry will stay as some sort of a novelty product for some collectors and people who want to remember the old days. Just not with enough market share to power the industry.
Increasing Ad Revenue
As streaming solidifies its dominance in the world of music and growth seems to potentially be stalling there are very few directions that the industry could turn towards. The most likely scenario would be to run ads even on paid streaming services. Pretty much like the way Spotify runs ads on its free accounts.
We have certainly seen ads increase drastically on social media. Just try watching a Facebook video all the way through. Therefore, it may not be long before the paid streaming industry adapts them in some way.