Why Are Consumers Downloading Less Music?

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Source: Apple.com

It was reported late last week that digital music downloads fell during 2013, the first time a decline was recorded since Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its iTunes Store 10 years ago. Now, analysts are trying to explain why consumers are downloading less music for the first time in a decade.

Data from Nielsen SoundScan showed that in 2013, digital track sales decreased 5.7 percent, from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units. Meanwhile, digital album sales dropped 0.1 percent, from 117.7 million units to 117.6 million units.

Many industry executives believe that the digital music sales decline may be due to the growing popularity of subscription and ad-supported music streaming services. Internet streaming services like Pandora (NYSE:P), Spotify, and others saw a surge in popularity in 2013. Consumers get more access to a wider variety of music for free if they’re willing to listen to ads. Even a premium subscription to Spotify or Pandora costs much less than purchasing the albums and songs you get access to via the services.

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