Streaming now makes more money than iTunes in Italy

Italy’s recorded music industry posted its second consecutive year of growth in 2014 – and MBW analysis shows where the impetus for the territory’s success is coming from.

According to local trade body FIMI, Italy’s revenues from recorded music in 2014 hit €122 million, up 4% on 2013’s performance – which itself was up 4% on 2012’s numbers.

FIMI says that streaming revenues jumped more than 80% across both ad-supported and subscription platforms, now counting for 57% of Italy’s digital market and 22% of its annual overall recorded music income.

Now, a spot of extra number-crunching by MBW has revealed that 2014 was a real tipping point in terms of the evolution of the major market’s music consumption.

According to our estimates based on FIMI’s numbers, streaming increased its share of the total Italian music market from 12% to 22% in 2014, while the market share of downloads fell from 19% to 16%.

As you can see below, that means that streaming in Italy, led by market leader Spotify, is now comfortably pulling in more money than iTunes.

ItalystreamingThe good news for the music industry is the impact that streaming’s growth and physical music’s relative stability is having on the overall market.

Italy grew in 2014 despite a whopping 15% decline in income from downloads in 2014. Physical revenues were down a more modest 5%.

We’re waiting on the qualified numbers from Germany, Europe’s biggest market, but early signs suggest we could see a similar pattern there too: a stable physical market bringing robustness to a growing digital industry as streaming accelerates and downloads decline.

It’s the perfect mix of the lucrative old world and the fast-mutating new world, but it’s one it appears the likes of the UK and particularly Australia are struggling to master.

Over in Norway, there was no growth in the market in 2014 despite streaming surging ahead – largely, you could argue, because there is no ongoing stability from physical music sales.

Italy is the biggest European territory outside the Nordics (and potentially Iberia) where annual streaming revenues have overtaken downloads.

Italy is the world’s eighth biggest recorded music market, according to IFPI data – ahead of Brazil at No.9 and behind Canada at No.7.



[Pictured: Enrique Iglesias’s Bailado, the biggest single in Italy last year]Music Business Worldwide

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