Apple’s iTunes Set the Standard in the Music Industry, but Digital Sales Slow, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

The sale of legal, downloadable music via the internet and smartphones has grown into an immense business, but it is now facing daunting competition from internet radio.  Nielsen reported that combined sales of CDs and music downloads in the U.S. declined from 116.1 million units during 2015 to 100.3 million in 2016 and 81.9 million units in 2017 (with digital sales accounting for 43.7% in 2016, compared to 46% in 2015 and 50% in 2016).  On a global scale, total recorded music sales rose slightly, from $14.97 billion in 2014 to $15.0 billion in 2015 and $15.7 billion in 2016,…

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