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Digital Music Streams Up 24% in 2013 Ahead of iTunes Radio Launch

Ahead of the launch of iTunes Radio this fall, Nielsen has published its findings on U.S. music sales for the first half of 2013. Amongst other things, the survey showed total streams of both audio and video music increased 24% to 51 billion streams versus the same time period last year.

itunes radio

With digital album sales rising only 6.3% and digital single-track sales actually down 2.3%, streaming music is clearly a major growth area for the music industry and with Apple launching iTunes Radio on millions of iOS devices this fall, it could give a further boost to the music streaming.

iTunes Radio will include Pandora-style genre- and artist-based channels, extensive iTunes Store integration, and both ad-supported and ad-free subscription options. It is expected to launch to the public this fall alongside iOS 7.

TechCrunch has the full report, including lists of the most streamed songs and purchased albums.

Top Rated Comments

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10 months ago
This is good news for Apple. Since iOS 7 i've only used Pandora a couple of times, and that's because I was on my Mac.
Rating: 3 Positives
10 months ago

Nothing will ever beat Google's music service. 7.99 for unlimited streaming, no ads, skip to whatever song you want, or just play any song/album/artist you want to hear. It's amazing!

Sure, if you exclusively like rap. I can't find half of the music, not including foreign music, I listen to on Play Music.

Spotify blew the market out of the water, it's well worth the $10/month. Apple has the best chance of creating a better product, but iTunes Radio is far from that.
Rating: 2 Positives
10 months ago

I buy albums. Listening to Singles just sucks. No heart and souls of artists there.


Which is why Spotify and Xbox Music are going to destroy Apple's weak offering.
Rating: 2 Positives
10 months ago

The whole thing smacks of a way to return more money to the infrastructure owners and less to the content creators.

I'm seeing new gains in streaming volume on the artists I manage, with ridiculously low dollar returns. With iTunes sales we could actually make a reasonable amount - not going to happen if the "norm" become streaming.

Should be the last step to completely commoditizing music.


Would the poor musicians prefer we get our music through piracy instead?

The way I see it, this streaming model is the first thing to come along that actually has a good shot of competing with piracy while getting the artists paid, even if they aren't paid as much as they were in the $15 CD days.

Sales of recorded music has been a loss leader for quite some time now, and I don't think this trend is going to reverse anytime soon. People seem to be willing to pay quite a lot of a live performance or for branded merchandise; but they will only pay that high price for artists they already listen to a lot.
Rating: 2 Positives
10 months ago

I buy albums. Listening to Singles just sucks. No heart and souls of artists there.


I bet if Apple released a spotify-like service you would say "Who would buy albums? This service is great!".
Rating: 1 Positives
10 months ago
With Google Play Music All Access, I have no interest in this service at all. Google Play Music is really a great product. It is iTunes Match, Spotify and Pandora all in one service. And the UI is much better than Spotify.
Rating: 1 Positives
10 months ago

iTunes Radio (or iRadio or whatever it is branded) is a non-starter for me. Spotify is a nearly perfect music consumption experience. I used to buy a CD a week. Out of 50+ CDs a year, there were maybe 10 that were worth the money. I'd listen to them via iTunes and stream them to my airplay speakers. It was awesome.


Now, with Spotify, it is much better. I sample all the CDs I want stream them to my Airplay speakers as well. Finding new music could still be a bit better, but that's really my only gripe. Apple needs to copy the spotify model. The streaming radio is crap. I want to listen to what I want to listen too.


And Spotify is available across all mobile platforms, so if you're audacious enough to own a non-Apple device, you can still have all of your playlists sitting there, ready to go.

If Apple wants to go down the subscription model route for streaming content, it really needs to get apps on other mobile OSs. I see no selling points for Apple's music streaming solution over Spotify. Ecosystem or 'I prefer Apple because it is betterer' just doesn't cut it in this instance.
Rating: 1 Positives
10 months ago
iTunes Radio (or iRadio or whatever it is branded) is a non-starter for me. Spotify is a nearly perfect music consumption experience. I used to buy a CD a week. Out of 50+ CDs a year, there were maybe 10 that were worth the money. I'd listen to them via iTunes and stream them to my airplay speakers. It was awesome.


Now, with Spotify, it is much better. I sample all the CDs I want stream them to my Airplay speakers as well. Finding new music could still be a bit better, but that's really my only gripe. Apple needs to copy the spotify model. The streaming radio is crap. I want to listen to what I want to listen too.
Rating: 1 Positives
10 months ago
The whole thing smacks of a way to return more money to the infrastructure owners and less to the content creators.

I'm seeing new gains in streaming volume on the artists I manage, with ridiculously low dollar returns. With iTunes sales we could actually make a reasonable amount - not going to happen if the "norm" become streaming.

Should be the last step to completely commoditizing music.
Rating: 1 Positives
10 months ago
I buy albums. Listening to Singles just sucks. No heart and souls of artists there.
Rating: 1 Positives

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