The Changing Trend In The Music Industry

Although the music industry had to accept a sharp drop in income at the beginning of the millennium due to the displacement of the CD-ROM, revenues from streaming services shot up again. While many adults use the internet for entertainment and games in casino sites (, young adults answer differently. 70% of young adults said that they use the internet to listen to music.

The music industry and the digital revolution

The music industry has been changing since the advent of the internet. Quite a few have predicted the demise of the music industry and indeed, in just 20 years there have been significant changes in the way we buy and consume music. While in 2001 there were still 133 million albums sold each year in Germany, 18 years later, in 2019, it was only 40 million. Nowadays, music is almost exclusively acquired digitally – regardless of whether it is free or paid. This development can be seen in the number of music downloads, which have seen a sharp increase since 2004. While there were 8 million music downloads in 2004, there were almost 115 million in 2012. However, downloading music tracks has seen an annual downward trend since 2013. In 2019, only 39 million downloads were recorded. At the same time, the number of music streams increases with one annual increase of 37% to 60%.

Musicians make money differently today

And while musicians could make money from their music through streaming services, more and more of them are opting for free sharing. The reasons for this are different. Many musicians are primarily interested in the distribution of their music and either pursue a completely free distribution or manage to divert public attention between free and paid offers. For example, some musicians offer their albums for a fee, but individual songs are made available for download free of charge, for example, to shorten the waiting time for the next album. Other musicians involve their audience in the marketing: They offer the option of downloading the music for a fee or for free. With the free option, the musicians ask to advertise on social networks. Other musicians such as the doctor singer Farin Urlaub offers his fans a whole concert free of charge to download or stream.

More and more free digital products

The internet makes it possible: not only music can be easily purchased for free these days. Digital products are also offered free of charge in other areas, such as online games or e-books. Many online and smartphone games are free and are financed through chargeable extensions – so-called in-game purchases – or advertising. Speaking of free, free spins are a good way to kill time and are becoming increasingly common, especially in online casinos. Online casinos, for example, provide free games so that users can test them without great risk and then decide whether they like them. Most casinos present their wagering requirements very clearly so that there are no misunderstandings among the players. However, such a strategy is also being used more and more in smartphone games.

In just 30 years, the music industry has undergone enormous change, from which both sides benefit today. Musicians have discovered new sources of income and consumers have made access to music and other digital products much easier: Today, music can be downloaded or streamed in just a few seconds – and often for free.