Want to hear something interesting? The face of music distribution is changing! No, really, it’s changing. While it’s something people have been speculating about for years, we now actually have data to prove it. According to a study from Nielsen released the first week of January, streaming services exploded in 2016, rising by 76 percent in the United States to overtake digital sales of music for the first time in history. This is a VERY big deal.
Americans used “on demand” streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon Music to listen to 431 billion (!) songs in 2016, led by hip hop and R&B artists Nielsen said in its 2016 U.S. year-end report. "The music industry continues to grow at a healthy rate, and 2016 showed us that the landscape is evolving even more quickly than we have seen with other format shifts," said David Bakula, senior vice president of industry insights at Nielsen Music. It must be noted for this fan that vinyl sales are up too!
This new trend is great news for our music clients. Websites that have integration of Spotify or SoundCloud accounts, for example, clearly lead to sales. We always recommend to artists, labels or distributors to utilize this plugin because we can tell from our clientele that results are seen. Take independent artist Jamie Kent, for example. This past October, he released his album ALL AMERICAN MUTT, which he also streamed on his website. Between that, live shows, great PR and amazing fan support, the album debuted at #16 on the Billboard Country Album chart.
The industry is definitely on an upswing, moving away from the days of “file sharing” and in to the era of streaming and buying. It’s an exciting journey to be a part of, especially after so many years of critics saying the music business would never recover. Streaming has gone mainstream and we are all reaping the benefit!