Digital Music To Pass Physical In 2012 With Help From Pandora & Spotify [CHART]

image from cdn.urbanislandz.comFor the first time, digital music revenue will surpass physical sales in the U.S. according to a study by Strategy Analytics. Streaming revenue from Pandora, Spotify and others, is on track to grow 4X as fast as downloads, ending 2012 at $413 million for streaming and $2.2 billion in download income. Physical sales are expected to fall another 9% this year. 

Global digital music income is not expected to surpass physical until 2015, according to the study.

image from cdn.arstechnica.net
"Streaming services will take over as the leading revenue growth engine for the music industry in 2012, generating an extra $311 million—$8 million more than downloads at $303 million," Ed Barton, director of digital media for Strategy Analytics told ars.


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  1. With a plethora of options nowadays, should music lovers have to commit to a physical CD or digital download?
    It seems to me that streaming has so much more to offer. Especially now that we can do it while on the run with all of our mobile devices and wireless accessibility.

  2. Wow, these are impressive numbers. I admit I was one of the more recent additions to the streaming population, but I really love it! There are some bands and CDs with albums I like to listen to all the way through, but if that’s the case I just use Grooveshark. A Dish coworker convinced me to get the new Hopper HD DVR, and when I flipped through the media apps section on the tile menu I found all kinds of web-integrated features. Included are Pandora AND Sirius. It’s very cool to just turn on the satellite radio while I’m cleaning at home, and nice that Pandora lets me “like” songs to ensure I’ll hear them again soon!

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