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The Rise of Digital Music; The Death of All Others

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Digital-Music-Timeline-v1-1

Okay, maybe “the death of all others” is not entirely true, but it’s based on facts – the number of digital music downloads is rising while physical album sales fall. By how much, you say? Well, consider this:

In 2012, there were 10.5 million digital album sales in Canada, which was a 26% increase from 2011. In 2008 (just four years ago), digital album sales represented less than 10% of the Canadian music market; in 2012, sales represented 34%. Digital tracks numbered over 100 million, a 21% increase from 2011.

In the world, 100 million digital albums and 1.3 billion digital tracks were sold in 2011; in 2012, the figure for albums grew by 15%.

Compare these numbers to physical music sales: In 2012, physical album sales decreased 12% to total 20.6 million units; “retail stores accounted for 36% of total sales, a figure that was 66% 7 years ago.”

So what’s caused this shift from physical to digital?

One reason is the shift to mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and even laptops, which allow users to purchase and listen to music immediately. Buying digital music is not only more convenient, but accessible so long as you have an Internet connection. We don’t see the comeback of physical music anytime soon, but who knows, a trend could occur. For now, however, digital is where music is at.

So how does this relate to my app? If you have tracks on iTunes or Google Play (maybe you’re an artist, a theatre show, or something…), you can import your tracks to your app, whereupon users can listen and buy if they like what they hear. Your app is a source of revenue. So with more consumers buying digital music, the opportunity to make revenue from your mobile app is growing as well.