Despite the continuing growth of digital music sales, a recent study by market research firm Strategy Analytics suggests that overall recorded music sales are expected to decline by the end of 2012. The research group expects digital sales to grow 17.8% to $8.6 billion, while physical sales are expected to decline 12.1% to offset any digital gains, with a bottom line being an expected net decline of $0.6 billion in 2012.
While digital music sales now account for nearly 40% of the industry’s revenues, Strategy Analytics’ data suggests that digital music spending will surpass physical sales on a global scale in 2015. Overall though, they expect the music market to stabilize in the next few years, unless of course a new trend comes around to upset the status quo. The data also suggests that streaming growth is set to decline sharply after 2012 and cannot offset the decline in physical music sales.
The chart below shows the estimated annual change in global music revenues, broken down by type:
Click image to enlarge: