Music Streaming Soared From 7% to 80% of U.S. Market in the 2010s, RIAA Stats Show

Streaming rose from 7% of the U.S. music market in 2010 to a whopping 80% in 2019, according to an eye-popping number from the RIAA, one of several statistics the organization tweeted Monday from what is apparently a forthcoming decade-end report.

The statistics also showed that paid streaming subscriptions rocketed from 1.5 million to some 611 million by the middle of 2019, and vinyl sales soared from just over $50 million in revenue in 2010 to just under $450 million in the same period — in other words, they were nine times greater.

Separately, the RIAA showed that Adele, Taylor Swift and Drake dominated the decade’s top 10 albums chart, accounting for some 8 of the top 10 titles of the 2010s. (Head here for a deeper dive on those numbers.)

Specific numbers and details on methodology were not available at the time of this article’s publication, although some specifics can be found in the organizations previous year-end reports. (A rep for the RIAA told Variety there was no further information to share at the time of this article’s publication.)

The rise of streaming was thrown into stark relief by the statistics, which showed that in 2010, physical still accounted for 52% of the U.S. market composition, while digital downloads accounted for 38%, streaming for 7% and synch for 3% — by mid-2019, streaming had dwarfed every other category, with physical and downloads dropping to 9% and synch holding at 3%.


Similarly, the growth in paid subscriptions to streaming services rocketed from 1.5 million in 2010 to 611 million by mid-2019, crossing the 10 million mark in 2015 and rapidly gaining momentum, rising to 22.7 million in 2016 and more than doubling that figure by 2018, to 50.2 million. The two leading music-streaming services, Spotify and Apple Music, launched in the U.S. in 2011 and 2014, respectively.


While overall sales of physical music (CDs, downloads and vinyl) plummeted, vinyl sales soared during the decade as the format, which was largely written off in the 1990s, continued its long and gradual resurgence. While specific figures were not cited, the graph shows vinyl sales rising from just over $50 million in revenue in 2010 to just under $450 million in 2018.




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