Streaming Music Services Begin To Eat Into Profits Of Digital Music Downloads

It should strike no one as a surprise that music streaming is big business. But did you know that it's become so big, that it's begun to seriously eat away at downloadable music revenue? According to the Recording Industry Association of America, it has, and the fact that iTunes revenue dropped 12% in the first six months of this year highlights the fact well.

In the same time that iTunes managed to drop 12% to settle at $1.3 billion, streaming music rose 28% to reach $859 million. That's a staggering gain, and could be a real sign to things. Being in Canada, I've had very little access to quality music services, but Spotify recently kicked-off a beta for its service, and I was quick to give it a go. Well, it didn't take long for me to realize why people loved the service so much - even as a fan of lossless music, I find myself loading up Spotify more often than my usual player, simply because it's so convenient. It's also hard to beat for on-the-go listening - even if offline.

Clearly, I am late to the party, but with such growth, it's obvious that more and more people are discovering the joys of streaming music services as well. It should be noted also that while download revenues dropped and streaming music rose, the total revenue topped $2.2 billion, which is virtually unchanged from the year prior.

It's been recently rumored that Apple might be looking to shutter its newly-acquired Beats Music service, but with the trends seen here, and the fact that Beats Music is a streaming service, a la Spotify, it seems like it'd be a horrible idea to be hasty and rid it. It might be wiser to see how things continue to progress.