×

U.S. Music Industry Posts Third Straight Year of Double-Digit Growth as Streaming Soars 30%

The U.S. music industry posted its third consecutive year of double-digit growth, according to the RIAA’s year-end revenue report issued today.

The report notes that in 2018 U.S. recorded-music revenues rose 12% to their highest level in 10 years — $9.8 billion, up from $8.8 billion the previous year but still below 2007’s $10.7 billion. This was largely due to the boost in paid music subscriptions, which rose 42% to 50.2 million from 35.3 million the previous year (and 10.8 million in 2015), while streaming revenues soared 30% to $7.4 billion from $5.7 billion in 2017 (and $2.3 billion in 2015).

Total subscription revenues increased 32% to $5.4 billion, the report says. That figure includes $747 million in revenues from “limited tier” paid subscriptions (i.e. ones without full mobile or on-demand access, such as Amazon Prime and Pandora Plus).

Streaming revenues accounted for 75% of the total U.S. industry revenue, with physical accounting for 12%, digital downloads for 11% and synch for 3%.

“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,” said Mitch Glazer, the RIAA’s new chairman/CEO, in a blog post. But he also notes, “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.”

Indeed, how long this double-digit growth will continue remains to be seen. But as Glazer notes, “As our report illustrates, there are reasons to be excited for today and eager for tomorrow.”

Read the full report here.

More Digital

  • La Linea Invisible

    Mariano Barroso Shoots Basque Conflict Origins Story ‘La Linea Invisible’

    IRUN, Spain  — When- and why – do people begin to kill for a cause? Having created “What the Future Holds,” maybe the best reviewed to date of any Movistar + Original Series, Spain’s Mariano Barroso (“The Wolves of Washington”) tackles this question head on in “La Línea Invisible,” a six-part series, again from Movistar [...]

  • The Lion King

    ‘The Lion King’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Walt Disney Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Lion King.” Ads placed for the remake had an estimated media value of $5.64 million through Sunday for 1,290 national ad airings on [...]

  • Apple Plans to Fund Podcast Exclusives:

    Apple Reportedly Plans to Fund Original Podcasts

    Apple has plans to open its checkbooks for podcasts that would be exclusive to its podcasting apps, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The investments would help the company defend its market leadership in an increasingly crowded field, and fend off competitors like Spotify, Pandora and Luminary. News of the plans sent Spotify’s stock down more than 3%; [...]

  • LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet

    LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet Dermot McCormack President

    Live entertainment digital media company LiveXLive Media today announced that AOL and MTV veteran Dermot McCormack has been named president of the company. According to the announcement, McCormack will lead the business and creative operations of LiveXLive, effective immediately. McCormack previously served as AOL’s Global President of Video and Studios, where he oversaw the video [...]

  • Recording Studio

    Cloud-Based Music Mastering Platform Landr Raises $26 Million

    Cloud-based music mastering and distribution platform Landr has raised a $26 million Series B round of funding. The new founding round was led by the Sony Innovation Fund, microphone manufacturer Shure, state-owned financing corporation Investissement Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Warner Music, Plus Eight Equity Partners, Slaight Communications, YUL Ventures and PEAK Capital Partners [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content