Streaming is no longer the future of the music industry. It’s the present.
According to RIAA statistics compiled here by Statista, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music generated $US1.028 billion in sales for the U.S. music industry in the first half of 2014, up 23% from last year. That’s still behind digital downloads, but that portion of the industry is shrinking — down 4% from the first half of last year, to $US1.268 million.
As far as physical formats like CDs go? That segment is continuing its long plunge, with revenues dropping 17% from the first half of last year, and is now in third place behind downloads and streams.