Paying To Download Music Will be Dead by 2021, Says Nielsen

iTunes Amazon Paid Music Download Statistics 2005-2021


Do you still download music today? Most likely not, and by 2021 its expected that no one will. According to the Nielsen research, the peak of paid downloads was in 2012 with $1.2 Trillion.

According to one of the best music sales measurement systems in the world for the US, Canada and most of Europe, the Nielsen Soundscan predicts that paying to download a song will soon become one of those saying’s our parents would always say…

Back in our day we use to have to pay and download our music to listen to it


“Back in our day we use to have to pay and download our music to listen to it” is what we will be telling our kids. Paid music downloads will become a very niche experience.

Nielsen Research media group did a study on purchased music downloads from iTunes and Amazon from 2005-2021. The Nielsen graph shows that 6 years from now that would be a 93% drop in purchased music downloads.

The results of the survey research showed that in 2005 paid music download sales were at about $375 million and increased steadily to about $1.2 Trillion downloads in 2012.

In 2013 paid music downloads began to decrease every year by about $100 Million, leaving 2015 with a total of 965 Million downloads. it is now projected that in 2021 paid music downloads will be around $81 Million. This is really bad news for Beatport, as their entire EDM charts are based on ranking the most downloaded song at the top of the charts.

Total Music Streams 2012-2015

But this news isnt bad for everyone, Its Great news for Spotify and Youtube, who have only seen their users and streams increasing daily.


In 2012 there were 71.6 Billion music streams, Now in 2015 music streaming jumped to 317.2 Billion streams. The declines in paid music downloads from 2013 directly sinks as the music streaming in 2015 only increases.


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