We live in a streaming society.
With the advent of the Internet and pirated music, the music industry began to struggle. Record labels scrambled to find ways to monetize music again until their solution came in the form of streaming services. Now, most people don't remember how to download music illegally. They subscribe to their preferred platform and listen to all their music through that single source. Labels have been partnering with streaming services to boost artists and provide unique experiences for fans. It turns out these efforts have been successful because a new report shows that music streaming generated 79.5% of the U.S. industry's total revenue in 2019.
According to Hypebeast, The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released their annual revenue report on Tuesday and it reflects the significant growth the industry experienced in a year. In comparison to 2018, recorded music revenue rose 13%, amounting to $11.1 billion USD. The industry hadn't hit a high like that since 2006. Streaming contributed to the vast majority of this revenue because there was a significant spike in subscriptions. Services like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal reached 60.4 million subscribers last year, almost 14 million more than 2018. Another staggering statistic is that the revenue from music streaming in 2019 alone was higher than the industry's total revenue from all channels in 2017. With the triumph of streaming comes the continued downfall of digital downloads and physical sales, which only made up 10% and 8% of revenue respectively. Downloads fell below $1 billion USD for the first time since 2006, decreasing by 18% since the previous year and amassing only $856 million USD.