Streaming, Social & SoundCloud: The Digital Music Industry in 2012

Music industry analytics company Musicmetric recently released the Digital Music Index, a study examining the trends and preferences of music fans around the world. Gregory Mead, global CEO of Musicmetric explains the purpose of the study:

“America has millions of passionate music fans – and while we don’t condone any kind of piracy – the DMI provides a detailed snapshot of the scale of file-sharing as well as licensed music consumption. Detailed data analysis is of great value to the industry and just as retailers need to know their customers, we need to do the same online.”

The DMI is the most in-depth report ever published on digital music, sharing never-before-seen insights on illegal downloading, social media and music discovery.

Music streaming and illegal downloads


Over the past six months, unlicensed file-sharing has decreased slightly in territories where music streaming services such as Spotify are available. Experts point out that there are other factors to be considered before declaring that streaming discourages piracy, but the correlation seems promising.

Social media strategy for artists

Facebook and Twitter remain the most popular networks for direct fan engagement. The study also found that artists “drive more social media activity with new single releases than album releases,” likely because users can quickly listen to a new track without leaving the social platform they are in.

Music discovery tools


SoundCloud has replaced MySpace as the site with the most streams for new and breaking acts, although we’ll be watching these numbers closely as MySpace rolls out its Justin Timberlake-backed redesign, which incorporates ever-popular¬†Pinterest-inspired visuals.

Up-and-comer SoundCloud’s HTML5 waveform player makes it easy for artists to share tracks around the web. The service also lets artists engage directly with fans, which may have a valuable correlation to driving engagement across other social platforms. The report shows that “artists that have many fans across multiple social networks were found to have the highest number of fans on SoundCloud.”

Is digital media changing the way you discover and listen to music? Have you ditched torrents for streaming services like Spotify and Songza?

Icons courtesy of Artcore. Record player image courtesy of Alfred Harth Discography.