Discord: Australian musicians face falling revenue.

The Australian music industry is saddling up for a bumpy ride as consumers shift from compact discs and digital tracks to online streaming subscriptions.

Australian Recording Industry Association chief executive Dan Rosen said revenue from streaming services doubled last year.

But ARIA annual wholesale figures released overnight reveal they contributed less than $21 million to a market which had its worst ever fall at almost 12 per cent.

The market dipped $46.5 million last year, the biggest decline since the $62 million fall of 2010, when digital sales made up less than 18 per cent of the market.

The ARIA figures reveal digital music outsold physical product for the first time in Australia, contributing more than $192 million to the struggling $351 million market.

The marked decline comes after a download-led comeback in 2012, when the music industry arrested a two-year slide with a surprise increase of 4 per cent.

But the good news is over, with CD albums, which remain the biggest earner, pulling in $141 million to slide an alarming 27 per cent last year.

Even digital tracks went backwards more than 3 per cent.

While revenue from streaming contributes less than 6 per cent to the market, Mr Rosen expected more Australian music lovers to embrace services such as Spotify, Rdio and Deezer.

"The way that music is discovered and enjoyed by fans continues to evolve and as the industry continues to transform itself, the sales trajectory will not always be a straight line," he said yesterday.

Mr Rosen pointed to music markets in Scandinavia, which derive more than half their revenue from streaming and had solid growth.

Australia only adopted streaming services in the past two years, well behind Europe and the US.

There was still a niche market for record shops, with vinyl the only physical format to increase sales.

More than 137,000 vinyl albums left stores last year, up a remarkable 77 per cent on 2012.

Australia's music industry has almost halved in value in a decade.

The West Australian

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