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Nielsen Music reports worst week for downloads, but best for streams

Nielsen Music’s data for the week ending Aug. 27 was the lowest for digital song sales in seven years. Only 15.66 million songs were sold on digital platforms for the week. The top track for the period, “Locked Away” by R. City, sold only 92,000 downloads. On the other hand, that same week had the highest level of on-demand audio and video streams. Continue Reading

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Beatport posts decreased Q1 download revenue

The general trend in the music industry has been a steady decline in sales of downloads, and that appears to be impacting even niche stores. EDM and DJ specialty platform Beatport’s financial information was released in the quarterly filings for parent company SFX Entertainment. In the first quarter this year, the company’s revenue from digital downloads totaled $8.9 million, compared with $11.6 million for the same metric in the year-ago period. Continue Reading

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Qtrax is back with new claims of a digital music revolution

Qtrax is aiming for a relaunch some time in 2015 as an ad-supported streaming service that will stop piracy and better compensate artists. CEO Allan Klepfisz talked a big game in an interview with The Telegraph, calling those goals “two paradigm shifts.” But the news of Qtrax’s resurgence has been met by the music press with mostly skepticism. Continue Reading

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Classical music fans get an HD streaming service thanks to Naxos

Today, we wrote about how The Overflow’s Christian and gospel music streaming app could be signaling a new trend toward niche genre services. Fitting then that shortly after publishing, we heard that Naxos announced the global launch of a classical music service. ClassicsOnline HD is both a streaming service and a download store specializing in high-definition and lossless classical music files. Continue Reading

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Nielsen year-end report: Streaming continues to shine as album sales fall

Nielsen SoundScan released its 2014 year-end figures for both music sales and streaming in the U.S. Streaming totaled 164 billion songs, up 54% from the 106 billion songs streamed the previous year. According to the Wall Street Journal (paywall), the overall music consumption didn’t change extensively between 2013 and 2014 based on an equivalence where 1,500 song streams or 10 individual song downloads count as an album sale. Continue Reading

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BitTorrent opens pay-gated Bundle torrents to all artists

BitTorrent drew attention for its collaboration with Thom Yorke, where it made the Radiohead frontman the first artist to sell a pay-gated torrent of his new solo album. The company announced today that the direct-to-fan Bundle approach can now be used by any artists. The pay-gated platform’s opening was linked with an anniversary album release from DJ and producer Diplo. Continue Reading

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Garth Brooks launches digital music store GhostTunes.com

Country sensation Garth Brooks took his first baby step into the digital realm in July, but today he announced the beta launch of an entirely new online music service. It’s called GhostTunes.com. The focus with this platform is control for the musicians, but listeners will also have several options for how to enjoy their purchases. Continue Reading