As Music Downloads Decline, Expect More Anti-Spotify Anxiety | FastCoLabs

We’re starting to get the answer to the question, “is Spotify revenue instead of transactional download revenue, or in addition to transactional download revenue”?

It’s official: We’re buying less digital music. Just like vinyl, cassettes, and CDs before it, the digital download may have reached it peak, with total sales dropping 4% from last year. The culprit? It’s complicated, but expect the already-raging debate over Spotify, streaming, and the future of music distribution to heat up.

Here’s a breakdown. In the first half of this year, U.S. music fans paid for 25-30 million digital tracks per week, according to Billboard. In October and November, that number dipped below 20 million. Billboard blames “a web of interrelated stories that show new technologies affecting consumer behavior” for the decline, with the most obvious culprit being that little green and black icon on your home screen.



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