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There is a new trend around us today. Why are Nigerian musicians releasing their albums on iTunes and then putting them out for free streaming on YouTube and the likes? The answer is simple – there is almost no returns from physical sales of albums locally anymore and this put side by side with the growing returns in digital platforms leads us to the point where artistes have to look towards alternative routes. 

This is not just a Nigerian thing, we must add. In recent times, revenues from streaming have become almost astronomical around the world. Streaming accounted for $2.4 billion of earnings in the US for 2015 according to a Time Magazine article by Victor Luckerson in March 2016.

Similarly, in a research by the Recording Industry Association of America, music listeners and fans have shown stronger leanings and willingness to pay for music subscriptions through which they can listen to songs across various streaming platforms.

In both cases, it is said that revenues from streaming platforms have edged out that from digital downloads for 2015.

Now, this is a structured entertainment industry we are talking about here. Streaming takes first place with $2.4 billion which is a total of 34.4 per cent of the industry’s earnings, then digital downloads follow with 34 per cent of the market returns, then physical versions of the albums. At the end of the year, they all amounted to $7 billion in sum.

However; despite this, there are limitations as critics also say streaming platforms have allowed fans listened to music for free.


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