The music industry continues to undergo drastic change, and music labels are unsure how to deal with paid download sales dropping as more users begin to enjoy streaming music.
Paid album downloads dropped 9 percent year-over-year down to 257 million albums, with paid individual song downloads dropping 12 percent to 106.5 million in 2014, according to Nielsen SoundScan statistics. Currently, streaming music has been unable to restore the music industry - the RIAA counts 1,500 song streams as a single album purchase, and listeners are tuning in - but generating revenue from this effort remains difficult.
More users are enjoying streaming music, whether sitting at the PC or using mobile devices, with 164 billion songs listened to in 2014 - a whopping 54 percent increase year-over-year. Record labels will have to find methods to ensure they monetize this change in how listeners listen to music, though will have to do so while limiting intrusions stations and listeners will endure.
Taylor Swift decided to pull her music catalog from popular streaming service Spotify, a move that other musicians didn't show enthusiasm trying to follow. Seeing how the industry adopts to the shift towards streaming will remain a major story in 2015.