Apple intends on releasing it’s revamped Beats streaming product in 2015, and it looks like they got the timing pretttty perfect on that, as the guys over at Nielsen SoundScan have just revealed their year-end stats for the music industry, and streaming gets a big ‘ol thumbs up.
There was a 54% growth in on-demand streams of audio and video content and total streams were up to 164 billion from 106 billion in 2013.
Sad face for the regular old retro (can we say retro yet in regards to this?) album, as digital album sales fell 9%, and digital song sales fell 12%. Physical and digital album sales fell 11%.
Happy face for the actual retro music format here, though – vinyl album sales in 2014 grew 52%. Fifty-two percent! In fact, although vinyl sales have been increasing every year, 2014 was the best year for vinyl since 1991, and possibly only because that’s when Nielson SoundScan started keeping track of music industry stats.
Apple’s other streaming product, iTunes radio, has had a smaller than expected impact in the streaming music market, and is currently only available here in the States and in Australia.
So. The old big thing is Vinyl, and the next big thing is streaming. Which Apple knew, and is set to take a bigger advantage of the latter by revamping Beats Music, probably as a native iOS app in the first quarter of this year. It will either be entwined with iTunes or they’ll be looking to take another segment of the market with iTunes.
Beats Music will, of course, have some competition, with very loyal subscribers to Pandora and Spotify as well as other players in the market.
Currently, you can subscribe to Beats Music for $9.99 per month, or $99.99 for 12 months.