technology-related shifts

The experts confirm that virtually all industries knew that streaming was on the horizon and that the transition from ownership to access would affect their bottom line. The music industry in particular was taken aback by the pace of the transition, and as in previous technology-related shifts, the music industry appears to be once again scrambling to catch up to consumer behavior. The year 2014 was the first year that revenues from digital sales caught up to physical sales; thus, it is understandable why the music industry wasn’t as prepared.

According to Mark Mulligan of Midia Research, streaming has had a “seismic impact” on the music industry, in large part because streaming revenue has not yet reached the level download revenue.

The good news, according to a 2014 Midia Research report, is that in the last few years, streaming revenues (ad-supported and subscription) have begun to increase across all mediums, including music—up 39% in 2013 and about the same in 2014. The problem is that ad-supported (free) streaming does not produce nearly the same level of revenues as subscription streaming. as of 2014, free streaming was significantly higher than subscription streaming (210 million vs. 37 million, respectively). The good news is that streaming revenues are expected to increase about 240% by 2019, which would mean that streaming would represent about 70% of all digital revenue. Thus while streaming currently underperforms in terms of revenue, within the next few years it is expected to not only catch up to, but replace digital download revenues.

Writing Prompt

Applying Your Media Literacy—Online Commerce

Discuss why the disdain for commercial content on the Internet has dissipated? Was it inevitable?

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