Apple's iTunes music store turned 10 last month, marking a rocky decade in the music industry as digital downloads shouldered out physical album sales.
People are buying more units of music than ever — even though digital downloads of singles greatly outpace those of albums. Meanwhile, sales of CD albums are a fraction of what they were 15 years ago and digital album distribution hasn't started to make up the difference. Streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora also make artists nervous that people won't pay directly for their music.
That's not to say digital albums can't make money. Justin Timberlake's latest solo album, “The 20/20 Experience,” sold nearly a million units in its first week, becoming the most pre-ordered album in iTunes history. Unlike some artists who have tried to boost digital sales by keeping their music off subscription services, JT streamed his album in its entirety on iTunes as well as Spotify and Rdio the week before its release.
As this chart from our friends at Statista shows, the music industry's revenue has started to tick back up in the past couple of years. Digital music may be in for another major shift as streaming services become increasingly popular, whether or not the artists are onboard.
You will find more statistics at Statista