The music industry’s challenge in 2015 in a nutshell: more music is being consumed than ever before, but that growth in consumption isn’t yet matched by a similar growth in actual revenues.

The latest figures from digital distributor TuneCore are the latest evidence: its artists notched up 3.6bn downloads and streams of their music in the third quarter of 2015 – a 90% year-on-year rise. Yet TuneCore’s actual payouts to those artists only rose by 6.1% to $34.7m.

That said, the company’s view is understandably to celebrate the revenues rise. One puzzling thing about the latest figures: TuneCore said that its artists generated 3.6bn downloads and streams, yet later in its press release suggests that those artists are “currently totalling 1.2 billion streams per month” (i.e. 3.6bn per quarter).

Either the words “and downloads” were left out of that sentence, or the number of downloads are so small in comparison to streams, they’re rounded down to zero in the combined figure – perhaps a sign that it’s time to separate the two out.

One more stat: TuneCore artists have generated $3m from YouTube between October 2014 and October 2015, according to the company.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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