Classical and Jazz Streaming Each Represent only 0.3% of the Market in 2014

Nielsen’s 2014 Music U.S. Report shows a lot of interesting numbers about the music industry. What stands out the most for me, however, is the very low rate of streaming of classical music or jazz. As you can see below, each of these genres represented only 0.3% of the total streaming market. (The total comes to less than 100%, presumably because other genres are not listed.)

Streaming nielsen

It’s possible that people don’t stream this music, and buy CDs instead. (But only 1.4% of total sales for each genre). Or it’s possible that streaming services aren’t very good for these genres, preventing people from steaming a lot. Either way, these numbers are very bad. And I assume that, for classical music, they also include “crossover” albums which, while not strictly classical, get counted as such.

16 thoughts on “Classical and Jazz Streaming Each Represent only 0.3% of the Market in 2014

  1. I’m proudly in the minority for a lot of stuff (being in the majority is beintg part of the lowest common denominator). I stream more classical than non! Please count me in the 0.3%, even if it’s YouTube (I don’t use any “music streaming” services at all). I’ve tried most and can’t stand them.

  2. I’m proudly in the minority for a lot of stuff (being in the majority is beintg part of the lowest common denominator). I stream more classical than non! Please count me in the 0.3%, even if it’s YouTube (I don’t use any “music streaming” services at all). I’ve tried most and can’t stand them.

  3. Depressing, but not surprising in the US. The last I’d heard classical and jazz were each about 10% of the market, but that was probably 15+ years ago. The counter-productive ‘back to basics’ education fad means that for a long while now very few schools have music programs at all, and that’s where most kids got their introduction to classical music.

    But I’m somewhat optimistic. The “Introduction to Classical Music” course at Coursera I took last winter had about 30000 students from around the world, and a reasonable percentage of the students, extrapolating from the forum posters, were young americans wanting a taste of what it was all about. Many became enthusiastic enough to want to start learning to play piano or other instrument.

    Historically, it’s a weird thing to listen to old music, or old styles. Something like a couple of hundred years, when Mendelssohn revived Bach and started a trend. I’m so glad he did, but maybe I’m kind of weird myself…

    • I recall that in the early days of the iTunes Music Store, the share of classical music was surprisingly high, something like 6%. But that Nielsen document shows only 1.4% in total sales. It could be that the share on the iTunes Store is higher, as people are buying fewer CDs.

  4. Depressing, but not surprising in the US. The last I’d heard classical and jazz were each about 10% of the market, but that was probably 15+ years ago. The counter-productive ‘back to basics’ education fad means that for a long while now very few schools have music programs at all, and that’s where most kids got their introduction to classical music.

    But I’m somewhat optimistic. The “Introduction to Classical Music” course at Coursera I took last winter had about 30000 students from around the world, and a reasonable percentage of the students, extrapolating from the forum posters, were young americans wanting a taste of what it was all about. Many became enthusiastic enough to want to start learning to play piano or other instrument.

    Historically, it’s a weird thing to listen to old music, or old styles. Something like a couple of hundred years, when Mendelssohn revived Bach and started a trend. I’m so glad he did, but maybe I’m kind of weird myself…

    • I recall that in the early days of the iTunes Music Store, the share of classical music was surprisingly high, something like 6%. But that Nielsen document shows only 1.4% in total sales. It could be that the share on the iTunes Store is higher, as people are buying fewer CDs.

  5. To be honest I’ve listened a lot more jazz and classical since I started using streaming services. When I used to buy albums I didn’t even look into classical genres; but with streaming services listening to these albums is just a click away.

  6. To be honest I’ve listened a lot more jazz and classical since I started using streaming services. When I used to buy albums I didn’t even look into classical genres; but with streaming services listening to these albums is just a click away.

  7. I wonder if the .3% means those artists aren’t necessarily loosing money on streaming. I know several jazz artists who poo-poo streaming royalties (though they don’t mention what the labels take as a cut). Fair enough, they’re not making dough on it, but it sounds like they’re not loosing much to streaming anyways.

    Either way, I think after the Apple Music trial, I’m going to buy 1 album a month until I die. At least that $10 for streaming has been in the budget for the past 3 years. I’m finding the streaming library to be pretty limited always for obscure big band albums anyways.

  8. I wonder if the .3% means those artists aren’t necessarily loosing money on streaming. I know several jazz artists who poo-poo streaming royalties (though they don’t mention what the labels take as a cut). Fair enough, they’re not making dough on it, but it sounds like they’re not loosing much to streaming anyways.

    Either way, I think after the Apple Music trial, I’m going to buy 1 album a month until I die. At least that $10 for streaming has been in the budget for the past 3 years. I’m finding the streaming library to be pretty limited always for obscure big band albums anyways.

  9. Considering that most of the SACD titles released these days are Classical or Jazz, those folks prefer physical media.

  10. Considering that most of the SACD titles released these days are Classical or Jazz, those folks prefer physical media.

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