As music streaming services continue to grow in terms of both user base and revenue, other mediums are declining. Earlier this year we finally saw revenue from streaming services surpass CD sales, and now the same is happening with downloaded music for Warner Music Group.
This is a first for a major label, but that isn’t to say that we didn’t see it coming. Near the end of last year, Warner Music Group said in an earnings call that streaming revenue had increased by 74 percent from the last year, while digital downloads had decreased by 12 percent in the same period.
In its latest earnings call, Warner Music Group reported that streaming revenue increased by 33 percent in Q2 2015, surpassing digital download sales through Apple’s iTunes and similar outlets, Re/code reports.
“The rate of this growth has made it abundantly clear that in years to come, streaming will be the way that most people enjoy music,” Warner CEO Stephen Cooper said near the beginning of the earnings call.
Cooper obviously isn’t the only one thinking that way. While the iTunes store was the reigning king of digital music for quite some time, Apple is putting a lot of effort into building a streaming service of its own to compete with Spotify. The company has even been accused of pressuring labels to remove music from the service.
Meanwhile labels like Warner are trying to squeeze every last drop of revenue out of streaming music. Last year Warner Music Group inked a deal with SoundCloud in order to collect royalties on music streamed on the site. The company has also pressured Spotify and YouTube to back off on the amount of music the services make available to users for free.
Warner Music Group has also been quite savvy when it comes to new services, licensing its music to Snapchat and video startup Vessel, among others.