Friday, July 12, 2013
by Paul Resnikoff
Is this what the rest of the world eventually looks like?
Welcome to Norway, where streaming is now hyper-exploding: according to the top-level data shared by IFPI Norway, streaming accounted for ‘just’ 46 percent of total music (ie, recording) sales in 2012.
Now, it’s two-thirds of the entire music sales pie in 2013.
The streaming surge has caused an outrageous 17 percent gain in music sales in Norway (in 2013 alone). But it’s clearly starving almost every other format: according to the data, downloads are down a drastic 21 percent over the same point last year. Physical sales, already in deep trouble, plunged 29 percent.
Which makes the overall pie look like this for the past six months.
Similar trends are happening in nearby nations like Sweden, the birthplace of Spotify (and, the Pirate Bay). So far this year, sales are up 14 percent in Sweden, part of another unexpected recovery. In 2012, Sweden experienced its first recording sales increase in at least ten years, with platforms like Spotify reversing the carnage.
The question is whether countries like the US (and even Japan) eventually look just like Norway. The US is now showing aggressive streaming growth, with iTunes and Amazon downloads trending downward for the first time ever. But it’s still early in the States: for now, year-over-year paid download sales are down just a few percentage points.