Here’s one of those curious facts that exemplify how trends have changed over the years. While a few years ago it was the most used way to consume songs, digital music downloads have given so little income today that even those of the residual purchases of physical formats have been superior.

Those who buy vinyls and CDs to listen to their songs are giving more income than those who buy their songs from the iTunes Store digitally. It has only been necessary for the market of physical formats to increase 12% year-on-year for this to happen. This rise, by the way, may be due to phenomena such as Japan where CDs still represent an important part of the music market.

Subscriptions to streaming services keep a large part of the total revenues of the music market. It is indisputable: services such as Apple Music and Spotify now account for more than 75% of all global revenues. The world is moving towards musical subscriptions, with a growth of 33% year-on-year without counting those “partial” services such as Amazon Music that provides a limited catalog to subscribers of other services.

Digital downloads of albums and individual songs in stores such as the iTunes Store only account for 11% of revenues, down 26% year-on-year. Little else has to be said: we are heading towards a world in which this type of digital downloads can also become a vestige next to physical formats while musical streaming becomes the hegemonic model for all. And for now, in that model, Spotify remains the king while Apple Music continues to rise behind him.


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