Americans are now streaming as much music as they are downloading, according to NPD Group. According to an article in Evolver.fm and reported by RAIN the other day, 29 percent of Americans streamed music in August and 29-30% downloaded music online.
That’s what’s called a tipping point – one that we’ve reached by witnessing the rapid growth of streaming music and the decline of downloading the same. Streaming music is about to become the dominant computer music listening behavior, according to Evolver, probably in a few months. And that doesn’t factor in the online listening/streaming that is occurring on mobile devices and televisions.
So what’s driving this rapid acceleration of streaming and deceleration of downloading? Well, Pandora‘s wild popularity is, for one. The service’s easy to use and easy to like format has introduced millions of listeners to streaming radio – at last count they claimed 60 million registered users.
Another factor driving the strong uptrend in streaming music is the variety of available services. On demand services like Rhapsody and MOG allow listeners to select any song in their library, build playlists and even store and transfer playlists to playback devices, while others like Pandora offer streams that use predictive playlist technology to personalize each listening experience based on preferences. Cloud services like MP3Tunes enable listeners to store their personal music collection on a server and stream it from whatever device they prefer. Add all of that to an enormous selection of AM/FM and online stations offering a more traditionally programmed selection of music with far fewer commercials and you have a pretty enticing list of streaming music options.