It’s been no secret that the music industry has been struggling over the past couple decades. After years of spiraling album sales, the industry hit a new low in 2016, with just over 100 million units sold — a nearly 14 percent decrease from the previous year, reflecting declines in both physical and digital album sales.
That’s not the whole story, of course. The music industry’s sluggish sales gave way to music streaming, which overtook physical music in terms of revenue last year. With streaming music’s revenues skyrocketing to $6.6 billion — representing growth of 41 percent — the music industry has championed streaming as its new golden goose.
This is a good change — the music industry lost billions by fighting the shift to streaming. By focusing on CDs and digital downloads, never mind the fact that CDs saw an 84 percent decline in sales over a decade, the industry found itself “fighting over pennies while waving goodbye to dollars,” as The New York Times pointed out.