Streaming continues to boost US music industry growth

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 26 2020 08:38 AM

A smartphone is seen in front of a screen projection of Spotify logo, in this picture illustration taken April 1, 2018. Dado Ruvic, Reuters/File

NEW YORK — The US music industry posted its fourth straight year of double-digit growth in 2019 to generate $11.1 billion in revenue, an industry tracker said Tuesday, citing the continued domination of streaming. 

The year's total revenue jumped 13 percent, the Recording Industry Association of America said in its annual report, with streaming accounting for $8.8 billion, nearly 80 percent of the sum.

The RIAA said paid subscriptions to streaming services like Spotify and Tidal contributed the largest share and marked the largest source of revenue growth -- up 25 percent versus 2018.

Paid subscriptions accounted for 61 percent of total record music revenues stateside, with 60.4 million paid subscribers to on-demand services.

Revenues from ad-supported, on-demand streaming platforms like YouTube and Spotify's free version notably grew 20 percent versus 2018 -- but brought in just $908 million in revenue.

These types of services saw more than 500 billion songs streamed to more than 100 million US listeners, but formed only eight percent of 2019's revenues.

Revenues from compact discs fell 12 percent to $614.5 million, dropping as expected -- though not as quickly as digital download revenues, which fell 18 percent to dip below $1 billion for the first time since 2006, bringing in $856 million.

But vinyl -- the darling of hipsters, music nerds and collectors -- marked its 14th consecutive year of growth, raking in $504 million and swelling 19 percent year-over-year.

Lovers of side A and side B propelled the format to its highest revenues in more than 3 decades.

© Agence France-Presse