Continued increase in streaming ~ accounting for 87.7% of the market (UK)

Overall, demand for music continued to grow, with a record 179.6 billion songs streamed in the UK.

More than 6 million vinyl records were sold, the highest total since 1990. Ten million albums were sold on CD, and cassette sales topped 100,000 for a fourth consecutive year.

But streaming dominates the UK’s music habits, now accounting for 87.7% of the market, compared to 63.6% five years ago.



I’m willing to bet the figures will be very similar here in the Netherlands. Everyone I know only streams music. I’m the only one who occasionally puts a CD in my CXC.

But yeah I’d say 95% of the time I am streaming as well.


A little confusing for Classical music listeners and lovers :frowning:

Sorry; I had to wave the flag - gently and only half-unfurled :slight_smile: .

I am sure I am not alone in both streaming but also purchasing digital downloads - for which there are no sales figures given. I would be interested to know this. I still buy the occasional CD usually when the CD (typically box sets) is being sold at a steep discount on the digital version.

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There are basically hardly any music shops left here in the Netherlands. Only some big stores have a small section with a tiny selection and are usually charging full prices.

Yesterday was actually the first time in several years that I’ve ended up buying 6 albums from the Qobuz store. Hi-res albums with Qobuz Sublime discount. And quite a bit cheaper compared to the normal CD prices.

Albums that would be hard and expensive to buy physically.

I have a 200+ physical CD collection but I don’t think it’s going to grow anymore.


It is actually getting quite tricky to buy some CDs now, especially via Amazon who want to push you towards their streaming service or only provide mp3 downloads to purchase. There is a very healthy pre-owned/used CD market on both Amazon and eBay, but quality is variable.


That was for me a reason to upgrade from Qobuz Studio to Sublime. Guaranteed minimum CD quality when purchasing.

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There’s no doubt about it, streaming is in the ascendancy. The growing availability of 5G will help this further.

Although vinyl is popular now, I still feel that it will peter-out eventually, probably in the next ten-years or so. People will get fed-up with the hassle of playing vinyl, IMO.

CD sales will continue to decline IMO, and cassettes will always be a niche product.


Thank you for posting the full report. I mostly purchase classical digital downloads from a number of sites as well as having a Qobuz account. My remarks below are made in this context

It really brings into question the future of sites that are heavily reliant on the sales of digital music, and perhaps explains some of the steep discounting that has occurred in the past month or so, after the prices were ramped up last year. Companies such as Chandos, eClassical (BIS is the home label) Hyperion and Highres Audio (which, incidentally has been offline for over a week now) must be suffering.

It will be interesting to see how Presto goes. It commenced life as a physical store, that branched into selling CDs online and now also digital downloads. I suspect it still does good business in selling CDs with the closure of so many classical music specialist stores. It recently introduced a streaming service, which I would happily subscribe to, if it were integrated with Roon, in preference to Qobuz.


+ 1

Do we know whether anyone has approached Presto to ask them how they feel about integration with Roon - especially after the Harman developments last year?

Presto’s search is far from perfect and its site lacks the interface conventions for page loading (no indication of progress), it is far better suited to Classical than Qobuz.

Although the bugs in purchasing downloads (with Sublime) have been fixed.

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I subscribed to Presto because I wanted to try their service. It’s a well-made service, clear, rigorous and well-documented, with a simple and pretty good interface. It seems to me to be superior to Qobuz for classical music, as the booklets are systematically present, which is not always the case with Qobuz. It doesn’t have all the features you’d expect from a streaming service, but for a classical music lover that doesn’t really matter. I was also hoping it would be included in Roon, but they chose other options: inclusion in Bluos and development of in-house connectivity with an inexpensive wifi box.

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Folks, I noticed that there is already a request to integrate Presto with Roon in the Feature Suggestions category. Unfortunately, the topic got closed automatically by the system, preventing further discussion. I’ve reopened it again, so if this is of interest to you, please Vote there, and continue the discussion of Presto over there. Thanks.

I love Presto. A great retailer, obviously run by real enthusiasts.

The ‘problem’ is, they’re a little ‘late to the party’ with respect to streaming. With Qobuz, and now Apple Classical on the scene, I doubt it will last long.

For a streaming/download service to work, it has to have exclusive content that isn’t available on other streaming platforms, an approach that Hyperion has taken in the past.

If Pentatone can’t get a streaming service off the ground, I doubt Presto will.

I certainly agree with your comments about Presto and that is the reason I would choose them over Qobuz if they were integrated with Roon.

They are one of the few “traditional” retailers that have kept just ahead of the technological curve and thus remain in business. I suspect that the next few years will prove to be the most challenging for them. Classical music fans don’t seem to be as attached to the physical product (particularly now we can get the booklets electronically) as fans of other genres. (The renewed enthusiasm for vinyl is beyond comprehension to me). I have no desire to have the original packaging for ‘classic’ classical music albums and we have got used to not having it through the many reissues of these albums. I suspect younger classical music fans will be happy with the digital formats and demand for physical product and even digital downloads will decline.


If they are “late to the party”, they would be looking for ways to increase market share. Maybe that would mean that they would be more responsive to integration approaches from Roon.

One can always hope :smiley:

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I’m particularly pleased with the vinyl resurgence and have bought a substantial amount over the last few years. I had still kept 95% of the vinyl I owned from 80/90s - slipping one of those onto my turntable and waiting for the odd little pop or crack to happen instantly transforms me back to my teenage years in my bedroom!

I love have the accessibility of streaming and still use this service more than anything else but vinyl will always be dear to my heart.

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I wish Roon would release aggregate data that they have… Roon knows what percent of songs played came from Tidal, Qobuz, or local. Roon could release stats by genre. All of this would be for fun, not any specific reason. Like data that flows into, its just interesting to see!