We recently noted that 2013 was the year in which digital music sales (read: pay-per-download) dropped from the previous year for the first time in the history of iTunes, according to Nielsen SoundScan. A follow-up press release from Nielsen reveals that the trendline of streaming music consumption moved in opposition to the download metric. Nielsen reports that 118-billion streams were served in 2013 on a slate of measured platforms, representing a 32 percent year-over-year rise in that mode of listening.
Platforms included in the measurement of streams include AOL, Cricket, Medianet, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, YouTube, Vevo, and Zune. There is no mention of Pandora, but the disclosed list is not necessarily comprehensive. The report also does not delineate mobile listening from desktop streams. This post will be updated as we learn more from Nielsen.
David Bakula, SVP of Industry Insights at Nielsen, notes interestingly that 118-billion streams “is the approximate revenue equivalent of 59 million albums purchased,” and that changes in consumer behavior around music have an aspect of growth. “The industry remains vibrant as consumption continues to change and expand.”