Nielsen Study Reports US Digital Music Sales Flattening

Posted by at 12:54 pm on September 27, 2010

Online music sales have leveled off in the past year, Nielsen said today. Sales and subscriptions at iTunes, Amazon MP3 and stores in the first half of 2010 were roughly similar to a similar part of 2009 compared to a 13 percent increase the year before and a 28 percent jump in 2008.  

The Nielsen report  did not give a strong outlook  for subscription services like Rhapsody or Zune Pass. The report  say consumers are still primarily goign to pay per track model stores such as iTunes. Apple is still has the largest share of US music with 28 percent of all sales.

Mobile services were gaining a small amount of ground, but a significant number of desktop listeners were using YouTube for single tracks rather than paying for the downloads.

Stalled US sales were considered unusual and weren’t necessarily proof that they wouldn’t eventually replace CDs, Nielsen said. The study group pointed to Europe, where digital music still grew seven percent in the UK, 13 percent in Germany and 19 percent in France. These areas were relatively late to per-track sales but also have had services like Spotify that theoretically hurt music revenue by encouraging free, ad-based music instead of paying.

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