The Digital Music Revolution
10 years ago, on April 28, 2003, Apple’s iTunes Store opened its gates and rang in a new era for the music industry.
In the early 2000s, CD sales had started to decline and the music industry was struggling to adapt to the new realities. Instead of working on a digital distribution model that was affordable and convenient to use, the industry tinkered around with digital watermarks and other copyright protection mechanisms that put off many potential customers. In the meantime, illegal filesharing services such as Napster, Kazaa and others flourished as they offered consumers easy access to virtually unlimited amounts of music.
In 2002, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs once again proved his impeccable sense for what consumers want and identified an opportunity to promote his company’s young iPod business. He believed music fans wanted easy and affordable access to music files and he decided that Apple should provide them with that access. Jobs started talking to major record labels and won them over with presentations that showcased early versions of the iTunes interface and its seamless integration with Apple’s digital music player, the iPod. Against his beliefs, he agreed to include some digital rights management, but in turn pushed hard for what became the iTunes killer feature: the option to download individual songs for 99 cents.
Within its first week, iTunes sold one million downloads and quickly became the largest music retailer in the United States. For the music industry, iTunes was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand the industry had finally found a digital distribution model that was accepted by consumers, but on the other hand iTunes was another nail in the coffin of the industry’s biggest cash cow, the CD.
Ten years later, digital music accounts for roughly 60 percent of music revenues in the United States as the next revolution is knocking on the door. Music subscription services such as Pandora or Spotify are increasingly popular and even Apple is rumoured to be working on a subscription model next to its “traditional” per-per-download model.
- Global digital music revenue from 2004 to 2014 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Global digital music revenue from 2004 to 2014
- Digital music revenue in the United States from 2008 to 2014, by type (in million U.S. dollars)
Digital music revenue in the U.S. from 2008 to 2014, by type
- Music sales in Australia from 2005 to 2014, by platform (in million Australian dollars)
Music sales in Australia from 2005 to 2014, by platform
- Global digital music revenue from 2004 to 2014Global digital music revenue from 2004 to 2014
- Digital music revenue worldwide 2008-2014, by formatDigital music revenue worldwide 2008-2014, by format
- Number of digital music album downloads in the United States from 2004 to 2014Number of digital music album downloads in the United States from 2004 to 2014
- Who may use the "Chart of the Day"?
- The Statista "Chart of the Day", made available under the Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 3.0, may be used and displayed without charge by all commercial and non-commercial websites. Use is, however, only permitted with proper attribution to Statista.
- Which topics are covered by the "Chart of the Day"?
- The Statista "Chart of the Day" currently focuses on two sectors: "Media and Technology", updated daily and featuring the latest statistics from the media, internet, telecommunications and consumer electronics industries; and "Economy and Society", , which inlcudes current data from the United States and around the world relating to economic and political issues as well as sports and entertainment.
- Can Statista create customized charts?
Absolutely! For information on tailor-made and sector-specific
Charts of the Day, please contact Jan Ahrens