It’s been almost a decade since iTunes rose out of the ether and revolutionised the music industry (for better or for worse is of course your opinion.) It became the perfect option for anyone who felt a bit miffed at paying so much for a single or anyone who bought an album just searching for that one hit song.

It made buying music so easy, it became a worthy adversary to piracy and ‘made it possible for independent labels and artists to compete with the majors.’ Indeed Steve Jobs’ ’99 cent single’ became the industry standard:

“The popularity and ease of downloading cheap digital singles has transformed the industry. Not since the vinyl era has the single been this popular.”
[Read more at macdailynews]

Now however, iTunes has reported a decrease in sales for the first time in it’s history.

This may come as a surprise, with regards to the success of the likes of Get Lucky, Blurred Lines and Roar. It’s also worrying that album sales have also decreased:

“Overall for the full year 2013, digital track sales fell 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units while digital album sales fell 0.1% to 117.6 million units from the previous year’s total of 117.7 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.”

The culprit? Streaming, of course:

“While industry executives initially refused to attribute the early signs this year of digital sales weakness to the consumer’s growing appetite for streaming, in the second half of the year many were conceding that ad-supported and paid subscription services were indeed cannibalizing digital sales.”

Perhaps this really is the beginning of the end for formats such as iTunes. Compared to 2012, Blurred Lines actually sold less than Somebody I Used To Know.

It’s a shame, for the industry was stagnant when it arrived. Few remember that in 2004, (before iTunes had really taken off and was even considered in the UK Singles Charts) Ja Rule, R. Kelly and Ashanti had a No.1 single with Wonderful.

It sold a paltry 65,000 copies.

[Read more at: Billboard]