According to Warner Music Group, last quarter marked a milestone in the music industry. It was the first time any music company reported that its revenues in streaming audio overtook downloads.
This follows a trend that streaming audio’s become more important to music companies than downloads. (Streaming revenues grew 33 percent according to the company.) The company is also pushing YouTube and Spotify to cut back or eliminate the free music customers can stream through those services.
Warner says download sales, including those from Apple’s iTunes, fell by 7 percent. But Apple is expected to integrate its Beats streaming service it acquired last year into iTunes and its iDevices. According to reports, the rebooted Beats will be a paid service with no free tier, but it has also drawn scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission.
Warner feels this is how people will consume music in the future and that it is not an anomaly.