Streaming Services Grow While iTunes Music Sales Decline

Music sales via Apple’s iTunes Store have dropped about 14 percent since the start of the year. Meanwhile, streaming services now supply one-third of the recorded music revenue in the U.S. The total number of streams reported for services such as Spotify and Pandora have increased 46 percent this year over 2013. This shift may be one reason behind Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics. The company is reportedly planning to relaunch Beats next year as a part of iTunes.

“In the U.S., recorded music sales are nearly 50 percent below their peak in 2000, though they’ve been essentially flat for the past few years,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “This year’s decline in global iTunes music sales mirrors domestic declines.”

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“U.S. revenue from downloads of singles and albums fell 11 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in the first half of 2014, according to the Recording Industry Association of America,” notes WSJ. “But a 28 percent jump in revenue from streaming music services helped overall digital revenue increase slightly to $2.2 billion in the first six months of the year.”

As a whole, Apple reports that iTunes has increased its revenue by $300 million in the past year. However, this increase includes sales of movies, apps, and books.