While nearly everyone in the music industry complains about the decrease in sales, a new study by the British Phonograph Industry (BPI) and the Entertainment Retailers Association has found that streaming may actually be at least partially responsible for whatever sales there are. Of course, this study was conducted in the UK, but it may be significant nonetheless.
The study found that streaming was a way for users to sample music and artists before actually buying. In fact 44% of the respondents that paid to stream said that their album buying habits have either increased or remained the same.
66% of the music fans surveyed also obtained their music from multiple sources, meaning streaming and CD or vinyl. The general consensus was that users streamed to discover, but actually purchased something they fell in love with.
Surprisingly, the results reflected not only older music fans but younger consumers as well, with the tastes of millennials falling in line with baby boomers in this area.
Also, about 33% of respondents would prefer a "one stop shop" where they could stream content, but also buy the CD on the platform if they wished as well.
Finally the survey found that around 40% of all albums are purchased in the final quarter of the year, with about half of these coming at Christmas. CDs and vinyl records are still prime gifts.
It just goes to show that there's still life in the CD side of the business, which may very well be around for longer than industry analysts predict.