Digital Music Downloads Are Plummeting As Users Turn To Streaming

Here’s a chart from Digital Music News’ Paul Resnikoff showing the collapse in growth of digital music downloads (the left axis shows per cent change).

Half-way through 2013, downloads are down -2.3%. It’s the first time there’s ever been a negative tick:

falling digital music downloads chart

In terms of raw downloads, Nielsen showed 682.2 million paid downloads through June 30th, compared with 698 million at the same point last year.

It’s an interesting counterpoint to a study just released by Spotify suggesting its streaming service had helped closed the gap between paying for and buying pirated music in the Netherlands.

In June, Resnikoff posted data that prefigured the current table, along with the following chart showing the enormous growth among paid Spotify subscribers:

spotify subscriber growth

“This is officially the year that downloads stopped accelerating, and potentially, gave way to conditional ownership and streaming models,” Resnikoff writes.

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