Always beware of single anonymous-sourced data – or at least wonder who’s sharing it and what their agenda is – but Digital Music News’ story claiming paid music downloads are down year-on-year in the US so far in 2013 is still making waves. “It’s down about three percent,” the site’s ‘major industry executive source’ claims. “That’s a first.” They also suggest that digital album sales ARE still rising year-on-year. Cue speculation about whether the massed ranks of streaming/subscription services (Spotify, Muve Music, Pandora, YouTube etc) are responsible, or whether there’s something else going on with the paid downloads market Stateside. Drawing firm conclusions from a single leaked figure on the first two and a half months of the year is risky, of course. But we also come back to our first questions: at a time when Spotify, Apple, Google and seemingly Amazon are in streaming licensing negotiations (or renegotiations in Spotify’s case), who’s leaking ‘falling downloads’ stats and why?

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