Music sales grew at a robust pace for a third straight year in the United States in 2017 as listeners kept flocking to streaming outlets, an industry monitor said Wednesday.
Analytical firm BuzzAngle Music said that consumption in the world's largest music market jumped 12.8 percent in 2017, well outpacing the 4.2 percent growth seen a year earlier.
On-demand streaming services led by Spotify are quickly replacing downloads on platforms such as iTunes, which shook up the music business a generation ago.
Spotify is one of several on-demand music streaming services leading the charge in industry sales, but many artists are not cheering
Music streaming service Spotify has filed confidentially for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is moving ahead with a direct listing in the first half of the year, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
If Spotify, with was valued at as much as $19 billion last year, goes ahead with its plans, it would make it the first major company to carry out a direct listing, an unconventional way to pursue an IPO without raising new capital.
It also mainly eliminates the need for a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite an IPO along with many associated fees and could change the way companies approach selling shares to the public.
The confidential filing was initially reported by news outlet Axios.
Spotify is the biggest global music streaming company and counts Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc as its main rivals. Reuters has previously reported Spotify was aiming to file for an IPO in late 2017 and list with the New York Stock Exchange early this year.
Spotify could not be reached for comment.
BuzzAngle Music found that nearly three times as many songs were streamed on an average 2017 day in the United States - 1.67 billion - than the 563.7 million tracks that were downloaded over the entire year.
Audio streaming grew overall by more than 50 percent in 2017 from the previous year.
In more good news for the industry, BuzzAngle Music said that 80 percent of audio streams came through subscription sites, as the music business encourages listeners to pay monthly rates rather than seek out songs for