First published on www.dailyfinance.com
Back when Apple was talking with the record labels about the iTunes Store, digital downloads were a minuscule portion of the music industry’s revenue. In fact, companies like Nielsen didn’t even start tracking digital downloads until a couple months after Apple unveiled iTunes.
Today, streaming represents a large chunk of total music listening. Nielsen’s mid-year music report showed that over 20% of U.S. album listens (1,500 streams to one album) are from on-demand music streams. Pandora accounts for 8.9% of U.S. radio listening. And IFPI reported that 28 million people around the world paid for music subscriptions as of the end of 2013. Overall, music streaming is a $1.6 billion industry.