Global digital music revenues reached $6.85 billion last year as digital channels caught up with physical format sales for the first time. Digital growth was mainly driven by a sharp increase in revenues from subscription streaming services, which soared 39 percent to $1.57 billion.
Despite the growth in streaming revenues and a substantial decline of download sales (-8 percent), downloads still account for the lion’s share of worldwide digital music sales. According to the latest Digital Music Report
published by IFPI today, permanent downloads accounted for 52 percent of digital earnings in 2014.
Interestingly, streaming services already account for as much as 90 percent in some markets (e.g. Sweden, Norway and South Korea), while downloads remain the dominant form of digital distribution in major markets such as the United States and Germany. The trend towards streaming is pretty obvious though and it probably won’t be long before streaming revenues eclipse download sales at the global level.