My latest column in Forbes is an analysis of the U.S. recorded music revenue figures for 2015 that the RIAA released last week. Total revenues are $7 Billion – a figure that has remained almost exactly the same for six years now. This would suggest that $7 Billion is the amount that the American public is prepared to spend on music each year, if it were not the case that the sources of that revenue — downloads, paid subscriptions, ad revenue shares, statutory royalties — continue to shift dramatically from year to year.
In this column I also consider the question of when on-demand streaming will overtake music download purchases as the dominant source of revenue. I estimate that this will happen within the next two years. This means that downloads will have been dominant for a mere 5 years — similar to the 7-year period in which cassettes ruled, in between LPs and CDs. Will on-demand streaming dominate the future, and if so, for how long?
Here’s a poll: