Streaming music catches fire

From USA Today:

Streamed music, like streaming of movies and TV episodes via Netflix and other Internet-based services, is gaining momentum as a preferred way to listen to tunes.

About $3.4 billion of the $6.4 billion that consumers will pay for all music in 2012 will be for digital music, says a new report out Thursday from Strategy Analytics. That means for the first time ever, the amount spent on digital music will surpass that spent on CDs and other physical formats.

Digital music — streamed and downloaded — is up from $2.9 billion in 2011, the firm says. Spending on physical music is expected to fall to $3.1 billion from $3.4 billion.

Most spending on digital music — an estimated $2.2 billion this year — will be for PC downloads from iTunes and other online retailers. But Spotify and other PC streaming services, which could bring in about $413 million in 2012, are growing at four times the rate of downloads, the report says. In addition, just over $750 million comes from downloads and music subscriptions used only on mobile devices.

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