Looks like Taylor Swift may have won the battle in record sales last year, but streaming won the war. The RIAA is reporting, for the first time in the music industry’s history, that streaming services pulled in more revenue than CD sales in 2014. Last year streaming earned $1.87 billion, while CD sales took in $1.85 billion. (The industry made $6.97 billion overall, which is slightly down from 2013.) And while the numbers are still relatively close, streaming services coming ahead of CD sales for the first time represents a growing shift in the way people consume music. According to the report, streaming rose by 29 percent in just the last year, which probably explains why high-profile names like Jay Z are starting to invest in the streaming business.
2015 looks to be no different for streaming, either. In just the first three months of the year, Drake and Kendrick Lamar have broken Spotify’s single-day streaming record — Kendrick beating out his own record of 9.6 million streams set on Monday with 9.8 million streams on Tuesday. So while Spotify might still be too “experimental” for Tay, there’s no denying where the money’s at. (Whether or not artists will ever see any of that money, though, is a different story.)