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Physical music sales figures were higher than digital download revenue in 2017

By Polycount ยท 16 replies
Mar 22, 2018
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  1. When digital music download services first became popular, many undoubtedly assumed they would eclipse the sales of traditional, physical music mediums such as CDs or vinyl records. While that assumption seemed to prove true for a few years, the opposite appears to be the case now.

    According to a revenue statistics report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), physical music sales have surpassed digital music download revenue by a $200 million margin. Specifically, digital download revenue dropped by 25 percent to $1.3 billion during 2017 whereas physical media revenue only dropped by four percent to $1.5 billion.

    This trend may seem a bit strange at first but it isn't completely random - music streaming services are the primary reason for this industry shift.

    As much as people may enjoy owning the contents of their digital music libraries and adding to them over time, it seems the sheer convenience a music streaming service can offer has begun to outweigh the desire for ownership among many music enthusiasts.

    According to the RIAA report, music streaming platform revenue accounted for a staggering 65 percent of the industry's total revenue during 2017...

    Services like Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited and Spotify seem to be the top dogs of the music industry at the moment. According to the RIAA report, music streaming platform revenue accounted for a staggering 65 percent of the industry's total revenue during 2017, coming in at $5.7 billion in total.

    That number is significantly higher than music streaming platform revenue in previous years. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, music streaming services only accounted for $1.8, $2.3 and $4 billion of the music industry's total revenue, respectively.

    Whether or not music streaming services can keep up this explosive growth remains to be seen, however. The current most popular method of listening to music always seems impossible to beat until a newer, better method does just that.

    Permalink to story.

  2. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,859   +2,167

    I will never throw out my vinyl records!
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,934   +1,203

    I purchased vinyl from the 70's, through the 90's. I'd hate to know how much some of it is worth, but you can't have it. I've even got a few of what they call the "virgin vinyl", 1/2 speed mastered disks. Only played once to transfer it to cassette tape LOL.
  4. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,859   +2,167

    I was listening to a few of my Dolby cassettes and the high quality metallic tapes sound better than I remember. I own lossless wav files and flacs of most of my collection but nothing compares to the sound of vinyl. It always surprises me how there is a room filling sound compared to anything I have digital. Vinyl has what I can only describe as "character".
  5. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,499   +515

    Lookup Flac music.. basically downloaded music down is 1/7th the size of the original, they cut out all sound they deem the human ear cannot here. But I think that is a load of bs, flac doesn't cut out anything. Original physical copies are flac quality. I am glad people in someway they may not be aware recognize that.
  6. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,859   +2,167

    I'm into HiFi audio and I really don't see the 44khz thing as very useful. It is my opinion that there are tiny nuances In what we can hear that gets cut out in digital audio. The closest thing I can compare it to is the "cinematic" feel you get watching a movie over seeing something with your own eyes. Even though they say our eyes can't see anything over 60hz our eyes don't see in a frequency. We don't see in any FPS. Digital audio is similar in that respect. It's chopped up into "indistinguishable" segments.
  7. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,903   +3,350

    The human eye can see up to 1000 FPS and above. I have no idea where you got the 60 hz figure from. Human hearing is different, certain frequencies you can't hear, period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. That character you are talking about is colorization of the audio by the playback equipment, just like any tube AMP will give your audio a warmer quality.

    I have a hard time believe I'm missing anything compared to my old vinyl setup with my current Audio Technica ATH A2000Z and JDL Labs Element DAC/AMP. It blows it away in every respect, especially for orchestral pieces. It's a system that's designed to introduce as little color into the audio as possible so that it sounds exactly like the recording studio intended, not like what nostalgia demands.
    Bubbajim likes this.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    Sure you can. That's why you can count the frames in a cinema film. Why I sit in the theater all the time and count how many frames are in a scene. Commercial movies are only 24 fps. You can practically smoke a cigarette between frames. I'm sure you know a movie film projector actually stops at each frame. Of course you do.

    This sh!t is all a hoax: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_of_vision-

    And before I forget, did you know that florescent lights actually blink at th AC line frequency of 60 Hz? We should get together and watch them go on and off some time.(y)
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    erickmendes likes this.
  9. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 567   +246

  10. NightAntilli

    NightAntilli TS Maniac Posts: 298   +219

    It all has to do with the loudness war. Mastering of digital music has been messed up. Since mastering on vinyl is different, they really can't use the same techniques, which allows vinyl to retain more detail, generally.

    Digital would be better than vinyl if it wasn't for that stupid loudness war.
    Evernessince likes this.
  11. I only download music if I can get it in a higher resolution format than CD. Otherwise I buy the Cd, rip it to my computer and good to go! IMHO high-res of a particular recording sounds better to my ears than vinyl. The three rice krispies are gone as well (Snap, Crackle and Pop)
  12. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    Millennials don't find it valuable to 'own' music.
    Plus what they do want to have a 'copy' of they simply steal.
    Not rocket science.
  13. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,903   +3,350

    The ability to perceive movement in a period of time and the ability to count frames are two entirely different things. Just because a person can't count the number of frames doesn't mean that can perceive the difference compared to a higher FPS source. Ditto goes for the 4K vs 1080p debate, you do not need to be able to see the individual pixels to get a better picture. In fact, seeing them would degrade the experience. Ditto goes for frames. Just like CM, FT, and any other man made measurement, it's a tool to measure an analog world.

    Yep, I absolutely hate that 95% of modern music is being designed for use in cars or as background noise. They master it in a way that it can be listened to in a noisy environment by sacrificing dynamic range. You can't sit down and listen to the nuance of the music because there is none.
    NightAntilli likes this.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    First off, time isn't in "frames", so you simply can't attach that definition to real life optics. Second, a human can never tell where an object is, only where it's been, or in the certain cases, where it's likely to go, or be in the future.

    Continuous motion is a simple matter of the brain interpreting current data, and that simply doesn't happen in real time.Not even for you.

    So, a human can't see "1,000 frames per second", because for pretty much the past hundred years, it's been proven time and time again, you can't see 24, if done correctly.

    So, what I'd suggest you do, is get a hold of some LSD, and discover what that drug can do to a human being's perception of time and motion. It massively amplifies the errors which are already present, but not noticed or accounted for in everyday life.

    As far as pixel resolution goes, since you can't see individual pixels at "X" distance, due to a lack of resolutioin ont the part of the human eye, how could you possibly discriminate motion as a "frame" at an equivalent or greater distance?

    BTW, I'm sure it's been said of me many times, but a little of you goes a long way.
    mosu likes this.
  15. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,934   +1,203

    Yeah, digital has the convenience, ANALOG has the warmth. You can oversample digital all you want, but analog always sounds better...at least the "old" music (late 60's rock, blues, southern rock fan). I "rediscovered" blues recently because our city is lucky enough to have a privately run 24/7 blues/jazz station with NO commercials! Local guy, community radio, 100 watts but streamed as well. Friend of mine. Nice not hearing the same thing over and over again.
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,903   +3,350

    Allot of older music was actually made to be listened to and had a wider dynamic range. It's amazing how much they were able to do with technology at the time and sad at the same time as it's better sounding than many modern songs made on modern tech.

    Like I said before, why would anyone be counting the frames? You do not have to count every exact frame to see the difference between 24 FPS and 144 FPS. Multiple studies have shown that the average person can notice visual changes in 1ms, which is far faster than 24 FPS. They may not be able to count the frames (which is pointless) but they can certainly tell the difference between 24 FPS and 60 or 100 FPS for that matter. If I'm not mistaken, I can most certainly see a huge difference between my 60 Hz monitor and my 144 Hz monitor and the 240 Hz monitor I demoed last month was even better.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    Well, at least we're down to 144 FPS. As for the "human eye can see thousands of frames per second", tell it to the box fan:


    OK, you will get a stroboscopic effect, say when you move a cursor across the screen, granted. But, persistence of vision dictates that you can't see the screen dim and brighten. You can see a helicopter's blades stop in a TV newscast, but if you watch them live, all you'll see is a blur.

    Now, a strobe will stop apparent motion. But the unaided eye, can't differentiate apparent motion much past 25 FPS.

    So, in gaming you have a strobing light source, and obviously the faster the frame rate, the closer together the stopped motion would appear.

    In real life, the eye either follows fast motion to stop it, or with a fixed gaze, all you get is motion blur. The sun isn't a variable light source.

    If you can find it, there was an article here in the news, where somebody used a super slow motion camera to show a TV screen being drawn.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    yRaz likes this.

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