retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Digital music downloading had a short run as the dominant method of obtaining music. In 2011, it moved into first place, though it only took a few years to be surpassed by streaming technology. And today, much of the growth in the $5.7 billion music business is in subscription models such as Spotify and Apple Music.

But here’s the thing. Digital downloading now has dropped into fourth place - surpassed by old-world music delivery systems such as CDs and vinyl records.

It isn’t all good news. The Recording Industry Association of America, according to a story in the Washington Post “released its 2017 year-end revenue report … showing that revenue from digital downloads plummeted 25 percent to $1.3 billion over the previous year. Revenue from physical products, by contrast, fell 4 percent to $1.5 billion.”

But it is fascinating and sort of Eye-Opening to see how the competitive ground shifts, reflecting the changing tastes of consumers and the sometimes illusory advantages of certain technologies.
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