Key to the total digital music market smashing the $5bn barrier.
The music biz is still struggling to re-gain stability in the post-physical era but at least there's some forward movement.
Strategy Analytics’ latest Global Recorded Music* Forecast says streaming is the main driver of growth, with sales up by 40 per cent (to £696 million) while downloads will rise by 8.5 per cent in 2012 (to £2.5bn).
That said, total digital music revs are still behind physical sales (39 per cent v 61 per cent).
But they will rise by £836 million in 2012 to hit £5.5 billion.
In all markets, mobile is on the rise. The stats don't explain the complexion of the mobile revs, but one can assume they comprise a combination of residual ringtone and ringback revs plus subs to Spotify, Pandora and other streaming/radio services.
Strategy Analytics believes digital spending will overtake physical on a global basis in 2015.
Ed Barton, Strategy Analytics’ director of digital media, said: “Although downloads still account for nearly 80 per cent of online music revenues, this market is maturing and spending is flattening in all key territories. Streaming music services such as Spotify and Deezer will be the key growth drivers over the next five years as usage and spending grow rapidly.
"Additionally, the emergence of cloud storage of a subscriber’s existing music library for seamless streaming to a range of connectable devices improves the value proposition further.”
The UK seems to be ahead of the curve. Streaming and downloads account for a higher share of music spending in the UK than globally (38 per cent v 22 per cent).