Digital music revenues worldwide could reach $20 billion per year by 2015, according to new report from the research firm Ovum. Mark Little, the analyst behind the report, predicts a 60% growth over the next four years in revenue from digital music subscription services. And as consumers realize they can get all the music they want for a monthly fee equal to the cost of a CD, Little thinks, track-by-track sales on iTunes and elsewhere are likely to suffer; digital music store growth slowed to 3% in 2010.
But even the apparently healthy number of $20 billion might mask the fact that the industry could be doing even better, says Little. “There’s too much free music available, and not just the illegal kind,” he told New Media Age. “Free internet radio such as Pandora or Grooveshark, and freemium on-demand music services such as Spotify, are offering music without maximising advertising or premium subscription revenues for themselves or the industry.”
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