For all the talk about streaming / downloads cannibalisation, one of the biggest factors in overall growth for the recorded music industry remains physical sales – from countries like Germany where CD sales have held up surprisingly well, to the many more markets where they continue to drop rapidly.
Australia and Norway both sit within the latter group, based on their respective figures for 2014.
Australian music sales fell 9.6% in 2014 to AU$317.7m ($253m) with CD sales down 18.6% to AU$115.3m, while the streaming-up downloads-down trend seen elsewhere in the world saw overall digital revenues dip by 2.4% to AU$187m too.
Industry body ARIA is not alone in its hope that “new premium services from Apple and YouTube” will help offset some of those declines in 2015.
Norway? That’s been one of the bright spots for the music industry in recent years, as streaming’s growth DID outweigh the decline in physical sales. Not any more.
After overall revenues rose 7% in 2012 and 11% in 2013, they dropped by 0.3% in 2014 to 601m Krone ($77.5m). Streaming continued its growth, and now accounts for 75% of Norwegian income according to Music Business Worldwide, but with CD sales plummeting by 42%, overall revenues fell.