What Portion of Music Industry Revenue Is Earned through Digital Channels?

The music industry earned about $5.5 billion US Dollars (USD) — or about one-third of its 2012 revenue — through digital channels. These digital channels include downloads of albums and singles, which make up about 70% of digital revenue for the music industry, along with subscriptions to digital music services and advertising revenue from digital music streaming services. Digital revenue increased by about 19% in 2012 while physical album sales declined by about 12%. Albums, however, still are the primary source of revenue for the music industry, and 316 million units were sold in 2012. Digital revenue is projected to continue to grow as governments and the music industry come up with methods to prevent piracy, which is the streaming or downloading of music from unlicensed websites.

More about the music industry:

  • An estimated one-third of Internet users visit unlicensed sites for digital music streaming or downloads.

  • British singer-songwriter Adele’s album 21 was the first to top the global albums chart for two consecutive years.

  • As of early 2013, 28 of the 29 most-watched YouTube videos of all-time were music videos.

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