Online streaming revenues will grow at almost five times the rate of download revenues in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics' latest Global Recorded Music Forecast. Streaming revenues will increase 40% in 2012 - to $1.1 billion - whilst download revenues will increase by 8.5% to $3.9 billion. Therefore, streaming services will take over as the leading revenue growth engine for the music industry in 2012, generating an extra $311 million - $8 million more than downloads at $303 million.
Overall digital music spending will increase by 17.8% ($1.3 billion) in 2012 to $8.6 billion compared to a 12.1 percent decline ($1.9 billion) in packaged sales.
This means that digital music will increase its share of global recorded music spending to 39 percent in 2012; however, this is still much smaller than packaged music sales which will account for 61%of spending.
Strategy Analytics forecast digital spending will overtake physical on a global basis in 2015; however, some countries, such as the US, Sweden and South Korea, are making the transition to digital taking the lions’ share of spending at a much faster rate.
Ed Barton, Strategy Analytics' Director of Digital Media, explains: "Although downloads still account for nearly 80% of online music revenues, this market is maturing and spending is flattening in all key territories. Streaming music services such as Spotify and Pandora will be the key growth drivers over the next five years as usage and spending grow rapidly.