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Surprisingly, people preferred CDs and vinyls over digital downloads in 2017

Customers are going the cheaper route, and the industry is feeling it.

Image: Snaps CDs

Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are taking over the music industry, and there is no sign of them stopping or slowing down.

Thanks to The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) 2017 year-end report it is now on record that physical sales have officially taken over digital sales for the first time since 2011. In RIAA’s year-end report, it detailed how digital downloads tumbled to $1.3 billion where physical media, also suffering, ended at $1.5 billion.

The streaming industry has invaded the music industry within the past few years, and it showed in 2016. The music industry made more than half of its revenue from streaming for the first time, and that has continued into 2017. In 2017, over $5.7 billion, almost two-thirds of the entire income, came from streaming services. In total, that is a 43 percent increase.

That growth, while substantial, is due to subscription services that allow customers to listen to virtually any artist they want for a monthly fee. If you listen to a lot of music, then the monthly price is a lot cheaper compared to paying for individual songs or entire albums. Amazon also offers a service for $4 per month that offers unlimited music streaming that works on a single Echo device.

Paid and ad-supported streaming subscription services have seen a growth, with 55 and 35 percent respectively. Streaming subscriptions have continued their growth which has propelled the music industry forward, finishing at around $8.7 billion. Signs are showing that the music industry is returning to their late 2000s prime, but there is still a way to go.

Do you have a paid subscription to a streaming service? Do you think streaming is the new way of the music industry? Let us know down below!

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Amanda is a freelance journalist who enjoys naps way too much. I fell in love with video games when I bought my N64 and Goldeneye 007 with my birthday money... it's safe to say that birthday was epic. Let's chat!

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