Audio streaming is coming back in full force, as the American public is consuming increasingly more audio streaming than music videos.
The shift underlines how important streaming has become for enterprises that focus on mobile devices.
According to analytics firm BuzzAngle Music, the changes in consumer behavior are significant and consistent.
During the first half of 2016, the United States public voluntarily scored 114 billion audio streams on apps such as Tidal, Apple Music and Spotify. In comparison, it only accessed 95 billion music video streams on apps such as YouTube.
This is probably the biggest leap ahead in audio-only focus since MTV entered the media.
To put things in perspective, during the first half of 2015, on-demand U.S. audio streaming was only 54 percent of what it is today. Video streaming in the first half of 2015 was about 75 percent of what it is after 2016's first two quarters.
Overall, on-demand streaming went up by 58.3 percent. Keep in mind that this number does not account for online radio streaming services such as Pandora.
A big slice of the on-demand music streaming comes straight from paid subscription services, such as Apple Music and Spotify. As a reminder, users can get unlimited access to the paid services for about $9.99.
YouTube recently rolled out its subscription service that eliminates ads for a fee, but most users still bare through the commercials and watch the videos for free.
Paid subscriptions are advantageous for musicians, as the royalties from the service are higher than the revenues from ads.
Should Apple secure a loyal audience for its Music app, there is a bigger chance for the company to convert the service clients into hardware clients as well.
At the end of 2015, Spotify claimed that it had 89 million active monthly global users. Out of them, 28 million were reported as paid subscribers. In February this year, Spotify was counting almost 30 million paying subscribers. A number of artists complained that Spotify's compensation levels are low, but the music industry as a whole notes that much less is earned from video sites.
Music sales have been on a downward spiral for some time now.
Digital song sales reportedly fell by 24.2 percent, while album sales sank by 17.7 percent. A glimmer of hope shines in the increasing popularity of vinyl music, fueled by a surging number of worldwide hipsters. However, physical CD sales slumped by 9 percent, dragging all physical album sales 7 percent down compared to the numbers from 2015.
It is almost hard to remember the times when artists made small fortunes by selling CDs at $16.99 per piece. Streaming royalties might not hit the same threshold, but an increased number of subscription services might wedge the gap.
Spotify has a true chance to capture the users by immersing the audience in the complete work of art made by the artist, namely its full album or discography. This is difficult to achieve for services such as YouTube, which usually features a few popular singles that have videos.
By focusing completely on the music to showcase an artist, streaming services could persuade the public to spend more on the musician's merchandise and concerts. This, in turn, might encourage musicians to stay truer to their calling instead of becoming actors, social networkers, live performers and everything in between.