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Making (and Buying) Music - Avalara CommerceTracker

  • Oct 26, 2016 | Avalara

Keep the tunes playing all month long: In October 1975 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched an initiative to promote music and its potential to facilitate communication and respect between countries, naming Oct. 1 International Music Day. Whether that means attending a Beyonce or Adele concert, buying symphony tickets, or just a digital download through popular services such as Apple iTunes and Spotify, October is a great month to expand your musical horizons.

Avalara CommerceTracker analyzed music and video sales in the last 12 months. Despite the pervasive availability of free “cloud” access to music, according to the latest data, “same firm” year-over-year sales of music actually increased slightly by 3% - good news for musician artists. October, November and December have the highest discounts for music buyers.


Taxation on music and video products has taken a turn toward the complex in recent years. While media contained in physical goods — CDs, DVDs, printed sheet music — is typically taxed like any other tangible personal property, sales today often consist of digital goods.

Each state handles taxation of digital goods differently. In some states, like Washington (which has the highest average effective tax rate of any state for music sales), digital goods have been made explicitly taxable according to the law. Other states tax only physical purchases of music, losing potential revenue but making digital downloads cheaper.

CommerceTracker is always watching for the latest commerce trends. Stay tuned for more.

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In partnership with leading ERP, accounting, ecommerce, and other financial management system providers, Avalara delivers cloud-based compliance solutions for various transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, lodging, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in the U.K., Belgium, Brazil, and India.