Music streaming grows in 2013 despite falling sales

In 2013, music sales fell sharply, but the industry as a whole was buoyed by what could become a lasting trend: music streaming.

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There is plenty of buzz about whether the future of video content is centered around streaming, and it now appears that the “streaming revolution” has now shifted to the music industry. The Guardian reports that in 2013, music sales fell sharply, but the industry as a whole was buoyed by what could become a lasting trend: music streaming.

Streaming hits a billion dollars
Almost all major streaming services, including Rdio, Spotify, and Pandora, grew in 2013. These services generated a combined billion dollars in revenue — a first for the music streaming industry. This milestone is certainly a big one for an industry trying to course-correct in light of losses caused by years of rampant music piracy. With this new data, it’s clear that the on-demand nature of streaming lends itself well to monetization and could lead to a streaming renaissance in the industry as a whole.

On-demand content propels success
So, why has music streaming enjoyed such widespread success? The key lies in on-demand content. While many were satisfied with buying records in the industry’s early days, when the Internet age dawned, consumers began to prefer purchasing music without leaving their homes. Though piracy is still an issue in the music business, by and large, consumers are finding it easier to use paid streaming services such as Spotify, which allow them to listen to the music they want, when they want, rather than pirate content. This is good news for both fans and executives alike.

Content delivery is key to continued growth
For music streaming to continue its meteoric rise toward becoming the preferred method of content delivery for music fans, it will be critical for providers to cement a reliable content delivery system that facilitates the on-demand nature of streaming. If consumers have to wait more than just a few moments to listen to the music they want, they might search for other methods to get the content. Partnering with an industry-leading content delivery network (CDN) will ensure consumers have unfettered access to their music. Using a CDN that can deliver music streaming instantly, even during times of peak usage, will be critical to ensuring the continued growth of streaming providers.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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