Research firm Ovum has published its latest set of predictions for the global music market, claiming that total spending levels will remain flat through to 2020, even if 2015 represents a “digital tipping point” for the industry’s revenues.

“For the first time, digital spending will top physical sales, amounting to $11.7bn this year (compared with $10.3bn for physical) and reach $15.7bn in 2020,” said analyst Simon Dyson.

The report also explores the changing split between formats, suggesting that this year, streaming subscriptions will account for 29% of digital music revenues, ahead of single-track sales (23%), album sales (22%), advertising (12%) and other digital formats (14%).

But by 2020, Ovum expects subscriptions to account for 51% of the recorded-music business, ahead of advertising (18%), with album and single-track sales both on 9%.

“Assuming consumers don’t make a sudden rush to access services, no decline in total sales in the coming years may well be the best result the recorded music industry can hope for,” said Dyson.

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