Do you use Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music or Google Play Music? Or all four? When the Napster era morphed into the iTunes era, digital downloads were legitimised.
Now they’re almost dead. Fuelled by a surge in sales of voice-controlled speakers in 2018, the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google are surely on the verge of abandoning digital downloads in favour of their fast-growing streaming services.
Those big players plus Spotify have followed Netflix’s example in video, but somehow managed to convince millions that paying it a monthly fee is good value.
What will Apple do in 2018 with its latest acquisition, Shazam? No one's sure, but every time you Shazam something, it will now surely point you only to Apple Music.
PxC estimated in 2017 that streaming revenues will rise 37 per cent to US $9.1bn in 2017 while sales of physical formats will drop 10 per cent to $7.7bn.
That’s the critical mass achieved. And that means death is surely coming for downloads. Is that a good thing? Not for music; some think algorithmic playlists favor terrible muzak.