The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) released their global music report and in it digital revenues have overtaken physical revenues for the first time ever in the global music industry. 2015 became record year for the digital music industry and from 2014 to 2015, plenty has changed.

Digital sales contribute to 45 % of the global music’s revenues – beating the 39% contribution of physical sales. On top of that, streaming revenues are up by 45.2% meaning that global music revenues have increased by a whopping 3.2% between 2014 and 2015. Basically digital sales have become the global music industry’s primary revenue stream  and it does not seem like they are going to be losing power any time soon as they have been on an incline for over two decades.

Above: A doughnut graph showing how the global revenue is divided.

Music streaming has been identified as being the source of the revenue generated by digital sales accounting for 43% of its revenue (downloads are still the highest with 45%). All in all, it has grown to represent 19% of the global music industry’s total revenue.

Music streaming has turned into the background singer who decides to have her own singing career, but downloads are still the highest source of revenue for digital sales accounting for 20% of the global music industry revenue.

Above: A line graph documenting the percentage growth of music streaming year on year.

Digital sales have moved in on physical sales and it is evident now more than ever that physical sales are soon to become the side-chick of the music industry as we watch this online relationship blossom. If anyone ever has something to say about online dating, show them the most successful union ever – the Internet and music.

Adele is the best example of the growing presence that digital music has had on the global music industry when the IFPI released that her album 25  sold 17.4 million copies with her runner-ups, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, whose albums only sold 3.5 million copies.



The music industry’s move into the digital sphere is what IFPI believes prompted the rise in the global music’s revenues and they could not be more right as record companies have adapted and assimilated in distributing their music digitally. They have used the potential of streaming to engage with their listeners and in the process generated more value for their artists.


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