Global revenues from streaming music services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio will grow almost five times faster than revenues from downloads over the course of this year, according to a new forecast from Strategy Analytics. The research firm predicts that streaming will bring in $1.1 billion in 2012 compared to $3.9 billion from downloads, with overall digital revenues expected to overtake those of physical music in 2015.


The predictions come as consumers continue to desert digital download stores and their companion devices for the convenience and ubiquity of subscription-based streaming services, many of which provide unlimited free radio options. While a recent earnings report from Warner Music Group seems to suggest that downloads and streaming can coexist happily, Apple's Q3 earnings showed a 12 percent quarterly decline in iPod sales, and global music revenues from smartphones are expected to jump 23 percent over the course of this year. In the US, the figure is even higher, topping out at 39 percent.