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IS APPLE MUSIC BEHIND THE DECLINE IN SALES AND STREAMS FROM RIVALS?

Here’s a chart showing sales and streaming consumption patterns year-to-date, with the data updated through 7/23. As you can see, streams and tracks have been following a parallel course. This graphic includes iTunes sales but DOES NOT include Apple Music streams.

As we previously reported, Apple Music is rumored to have signed up over 10m users since its June 30 launch. During the same period, track sales and total reported streams have continued a decline that began around the middle of May, despite well-received new releases from Future, A$AP Rocky, Twenty One Pilots and others.

Because Apple isn't reporting streams for inclusion on the charts, the gap between sales/TEA and streams shown in the above graphic would be narrower with a complete data set. Could the slippage be the result of consumers abandoning both iTunes and other streaming platforms in favor of shiny new Apple Music? If so, will we see a lift in sales and overall streams once the novelty wears off—or the 90-day free trials end—or is the new offering sufficiently alluring that Apple will succeed in its seeming plan to transition from one revenue stream to another? 

More significantly, will Apple be able to instigate a turnaround in total consumption numbers once their streams are counted?

We’ll continue to update these trends in an effort to determine the answer.

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