Sure, streaming is king in the second decade of the 2000s but purchased music isn’t totally dead yet. Although digital music download sales are down again (as usual) last year was the first year in a long time where physical music sales exceeded digital music sales.
According to a new report by the Recording Industry Association of America, the two formats (vinyl and cd) had sales numbers that exceeded that of mp3 downloads. Digital downloads saw a sharp decline in 2017, falling 25%, while only making up 15% of all music revenue last year.
According to Digital Music News:
For the first time since 2011, revenue from physical products exceeded those from digital downloads. Physical products shipments declined only 4% to $1.5 billion. 2017 marked a lower rate of decline than in recent years for the medium. Vinyl record sales have helped. The RIAA found that among the other physical products, vinyl revenues jumped 10% to $395 million. CD shipments, however, fell 6% to $1.1 billion.
So even though the overall idea of “buying” music is still declining, physical sales still have some steam left over and above that of digital downloads.