After having finally moved back into the black in 2013, 2014 overall was a disappointing one for the French music sector, which saw a 5.4% decline in sales for the year. However, the streaming business proved to be the bright spot in what was otherwise a very tough year for the sector. Streaming services, primarily from Deezer, Spotify and Youtube generated 73 million euros in revenue in 2014, an increase of 34% over the previous year. Streaming now makes up 16% of total music revenues. With digital music downloads declining over the period (both internet and mobile downloads were off significantly over the period) and sales of physical units continuing their slide, streaming is looking to be the future of music consumption.
The music industry (at least those on the ‘business’ side of things) has grown to love the concept of streaming. It not only offers them the chance of getting new music in front of listeners in a lower cost, low risk way, it also is a recurring revenue model which is, unsurprisingly, a bit hit with the music majors.
Although streaming is still quite a ways from being the top mode of listening to music, CDs still make up 71% of music sales, it is clear that streaming offers the music majors some hope in a market that has been extremely challenging for them pretty much since the dawn of digital music.