For the first time, streaming is to be included in the UK singles chart. This announcement was followed by reports that digital music sales now account for more than half the UK record industry’s income. But the royalties gleaned from streaming are often the subject of much complaint, most recently with musician Zoe Keating’s publication of the breakdown of her income last year, 92% of which came from sales – US$75,341 – with only US$6,380 coming from streaming services. It is obvious that the music industry is swiftly changing, but the wider effects this may have are unclear.
Sweden, as the home of Spotify, is ahead of the UK in the digital music world. We included streaming in our charts in September 2013, and internet-driven revenue – downloads and streaming – accounts for about 70% of the market here. So looking at the changes that have been occurring here may give some indication of the UK’s future.