Around the early 2000’s, I barely knew the names of any of the songs I listened to. My walkman was like an extra appendage, and I knew the tracks by their CD and track number. With CD’s having such an extreme importance in my adolescent life, it’s slightly surreal to think that the age of the CD is coming to an end to make way for the powerhouse that is digital streaming.

Based on the Nielsen Music US Report for 2014, it is undeniable that our music consumption habits are harshly changing. Physical album sales were down 15% from the previous year, whereas streaming skyrocketed up 54% (with EDM making up 2% of total album sales and 7% of total streaming). With the abundance of streaming options available and the rapid closure of many record shops, this doesn’t come as much of a shock, but the speed in which platforms such as Spotify and Soundcloud are taking over is insane.

Only 4 albums released in 2014 passed a million units sold versus 13 albums in 2013. Taylor Swift‘s 1989 was the first album of 2014 to reach platinum status, followed by Grammy winning Sam Smith‘s In The Lonely Hour, hitting the milestone dangerously close to the New Year.

iTunes and other digital music stores are also suffering in the shadows of giants like Spotify and Soundcloud. Digital music sales are down 13% from 2013, the year that marked the first time iTunes had seen a decline in sales since the program’s launch.

Live music, however, accounts for over half of the revenue seen from music sales. Nielsen reports that 12% of people in the US attend at least one festival per year, and I only expect this number to grow as new festivals pop up. Vinyl sales are also up 52% from 2013, and the medium looks like it’s making a comeback with Tomorrowland announcing an all-vinyl stage this year.


Source: The Atlantic