A new study suggests music consumers may be buying more instruments online than ever before, with online music services adding an estimated $4.7 billion to the industry in the first nine months of 2017.
According to data from Nielsen Music, the average user spent $19.10 per month on online music, while the average seller spent $6.78 per month, according to data collected by MusicScore.
That’s up 9.6 per cent from the same period last year, with average sales of $7.88 billion.
The study, which analyzed the industry’s top 30 online music labels, was published online in the journal Music Technology.
It also found that consumers were buying more acoustic instruments, with more than $6 billion of those spent on acoustic instruments in the year to June 2017.
There were also some signs that music consumers were purchasing more electronic instruments, which had an estimated sales of just over $1.2 billion.
In the year up to June, Nielsen Music said online music accounted for $4,079 million in sales and accounted for more than one-third of all music downloads.
The music industry has been struggling to make money in recent years.
The music industry’s overall profit was down 17 per cent in the three months to the end of May, and online sales were down 17.4 per cent.
The industry is still struggling to maintain its share of the US music market, with fewer consumers buying CDs or streaming music on smartphones, according the US Census Bureau.
The report also found digital sales have grown in the past year, as more music streaming services have emerged and as music streaming apps such as Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music have become more popular.
MusicScore, a music analytics firm, said online sales have increased for a number of reasons, including the fact that more music apps are available on the internet and that the industry is also starting to attract new customers.
Music industry figures showed the average song sold for $2.96 at Spotify in the fourth quarter of 2017, up from $2,662 in the third quarter.