Is streaming actually good for record sales?

Streaming, it seems, is having an affect contrary to the one we’ve assumed. Apparently, it’s breathing life back into record sales as opposed to putting a dent in them.

In a recent survey, researchers have found that 66% of listeners consider themselves to be “multi-channel-consumers” – that is, someone who listens to (and pays for) music across two or more formats.

The survey was conducted on the behalf of UK record labels body BPI and the Entertainment Retailers Association and posted on Billboard. It showed that those aged 16-34 most likely to pay for streaming, in addition to download and physical format music purchases. 37% of streaming subscribers believe the service had in fact increased the amount they spend on downloads.

Interestingly, the survey indicates that these patterns are not unlike those seen in previously popular formats like CD and vinyl.

“This research suggests music fans are a great deal more nuanced in their approach to new forms of technology than they are sometimes given credit for,” said Kim Bayley, Chief Executive Entertainment Retailers Association. A spokesperson for BPI added that: “Many fans value the opportunity to also purchase music by the artists they love, whether on CD, vinyl or downloads. This is driven, the survey suggests, by a desire to emotionally engage with the recording and the cover artwork that comes with it – to own, collect and interact with it.”

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the BPI and BRIT Awards, concurred, saying that “the enduring appeal of compact discs and vinyl has surprised many commentators who wrote them off years ago. Unexpectedly, streaming may be enhancing their appeal to many fans, who appreciate the immediacy and convenience of services like Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play to discover and enjoy a huge range of new music, but still want to own and collect albums by artists they truly love.”

You can view the entire survey and it’s findings here.