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 facing daunting competition from internet-based music services like Pandora and Spotify, as well as from satellite-based radio service SiriusXM.  Nielsen reported that combined sales of recorded CDs and music downloads sold 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).  As of mid-2018, consumption was up year over year by 18.4%.  On a global scale, total recorded music sales rose…

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