Apple aims for bigger bite of music market

Taylor Swift will make her recordings available on Apple Music after pulling them from rival Spotify

If record companies had their way, the internet would never have been invented. For much of the second half of the 20th Century, music fans who wanted to listen to the latest release from their favourite artist had to make a trip to their local record store to buy an album or single on vinyl, cassette or CD.

However, the mass adoption of broadband in the developed world at the start of the last decade soon destroyed what was a very cosy – and highly profitable – business model.

A generation has grown up illegally downloading music – and many music fans are content to use advertising-funded websites such as YouTube to hear almost any track you can think of.

In 1999 the global recorded music industry raked in $26.6bn – buoyed mostly by sales of highly profitable CDs. But as pirating took off the total slipped to less than $20bn in 2007 and last year was down to just under $15bn, according to industry body IFPI.

The arrival of Apple’s iTunes music download store in 2003 made it much easier to legally buy music online, but its growth has stalled as more music fans switch to streaming services such as Spotify.

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