The American music industry has logged three years of two-digit growth in a row, says the RIAA’s year-end revenue report.
The report shows that recorded-music revenues reached a ten-year high: $9.8 billion in revenue, or 12% more than last year. In 2017, the same segment earned $8.8 billion, which was still a somewhat far cry from the $10.8 billion it had gotten back in 2007. A 42% increase in paid music subscriptions paved the way for last year’s growth. Paid subscribers rose from 35.3 million to 50.2 million in a year. Streaming revenues, on the other hand, grew a massive 30% from $5.7 billion in 2017 to $7.4 billion in 2018.
The report states that total subscription revenues rose to $5.4 billion, or by 32%. The number includes “limited tier” paid subscriptions like Amazon Prime and Pandora Plus, which brought in $747 million.
Streaming services took up 75% of all US-generated revenue, with physical and digital downloads coming in 2nd and 3rd – owning 12% and 11% of the results respectively.
The RIAA’s chairman and CEO, Mitch Glazer, stated as follows in the release: “Fifty million subscriptions illustrate fans’ unrivaled love for music and the way it shapes our identities and culture — and showcases an industry that has embraced the future and found a healthy path forward in the digital economy”. He also added: “Make no mistake, many challenges continue to confront our community. As noteworthy as it is for the business to approach $10 billion in revenues again, that only returns U.S. music to its 2007 levels. Stream-ripping, and a lack of accountability for many Big Tech companies that drive down the value of music, remain serious threats as the industry strives for additional growth.”
Glazer concluded that “as our report illustrates, there are reasons to be excited for today and eager for tomorrow.”