HITS Daily Double

I.B. on digital

STREAM UND DRANG: UMG and Sony are negotiating huge advances from licensing the rights to their music from streaming companies, as the nontraditional revenue from YouTube, VEVO, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio, Beats Music, et al, fill their coffers and pump up their bottom lines in an effort to make up for the troubling erosion of download sales—which some attribute to the growing popularity of streaming, ironically enough. But at the same time, CD sales are declining much more gradually than had been predicted. Indeed, physical product accounted for just under 60% of overall domestic album sales in 2013, although just 41.4% of total sales including TEA. Some expect several more years of poor returns before streaming replaces the lost income from downloads. Where does powerful iTunes stand as this transition takes place during the next five or six years? So asks our own I.B. Bad, whose latest missive will appear in its entirety on this site tomorrow. (2/27p)