RIAA: Streaming music revenue continues to grow, digital downloads hit lowest point since 2006
The Recording Industry Association of America is out with its full annual study focusing on the music industry’s revenue during 2019. According to the data, streaming music revenue continues to grow, increasing by 25% in 2019. Recorded music revenues hit a total of $11.1 billion in 2019.
The RIAA says that paid streaming music services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, accounted for $6.8 billion in revenue during 2019, which is up 25% year-over-year. As reported by Variety, this means that paid streaming services now account for “61% of all the cash brought in from recorded music in the U.S.” If you combine that with ad-supported streaming services, it hits 79% of revenue.
Meanwhile, the total number of paid subscriptions grew by 29% during 2019, going from 46.9 million to 60.4 million. Physical sales continued to fall in 2019 and now account for just 10% of the marketplace. That being said, vinyl sales continued to buck that trend, increasing for the 14th consecutive year and reaching over $500 million in revenue.
But one of the most interesting statistics continues to be the downfall of digital downloads. That is, music purchases from platforms such as iTunes.
Since the introduction of streaming music services, download revenue has fallen swiftly. In 2019, downloads accounted for just 8% of music industry revenue — which is even less than physical media. The RIAA points out that this is the “first year since 2006 that the money brought in from paid downloads came in at less than a billion dollars.”
In a blog post, RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier said that while the growth in streaming is important, there is still room for improvement:
Today’s report reflects the prospect of a future in which creators have a path forward. But it also reveals how much farther we must go to assure a healthy music community in which all music is valued and creators are fairly compensated. We still have not realized the full value of music on all digital services.
You can read the full blog post from Glazier here.
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