As CDs and physical music collections become more obsolete, the global online music industry continues to grow intensively. With global online music downloads totaling $6.3 billion last year, digital services such as Apples, iTunes, and Spotify are seeing great success. By 2015, the online music industry is expected to reach $7.7 billion, demonstrating a 22% increase in downloads on music domains over the next few years.
Today, 32% of record company revenue is a direct result of music domain downloads, emphasizing the importance to artists of having their music available online, as well as showcasing the value of a music domain. The web has helped not only "prime time" artists from top labels, but has served niche markets effectively — helping to drive sales for lesser-known musicians. The increase of countries which have access to major music download services has also increased by a significant 152%, growing from 23 countries in 2011 to 58 in 2012. With over 13.4 million consumers subscribing to these services across the globe, an online music domain offers tremendous revenue possibilities.
Changing technology also plays a primary role in the success of an online music website. With the proliferation of Apple products ranging from iPods, to iPhones, to iPads, every product allows for the streaming and downloading of music. This increasing accessibility to music downloads gives way to a growing demand.
A music website provides minimal risk to the consumer in trying new music as well, and offering a free preview track on your site is a great way to introduce new artists to potential customers. Streaming music services are also complementary to music downloads, offering users a chance to hear artists and tracks in their entirety prior to purchasing. With 55% of streaming users discovering new artists, 20% buy more downloads on a music domain since streaming than they would have without it. In 2012, 8.2 billion hours of Pandora streaming music were listed to, a huge increase from the 1.8 billion hours in 2010 just two years prior, showing the rapidly increasing interest in online streaming from a music domain.
There is still room for savvy entrepreneurs with a music domain to capture audiences, and associated download and advertising revenue, with new twists on current music websites, as there is strong continued growth predicted in music downloads for the foreseeable future.