Revenues From Recorded Music Rose To $9.8 Billion In The U.S. Last Year According To Annual RIAA Report


The Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) have released their annual report on revenue generated by recorded music in the U.S. with numbers up in most categories in 2018. These numbers continue a positive upward growth that has developed over the past several years.

According to the report, 2018’s retail music industry saw revenues jump to $9.8 billion, up from the $8.8 billion generated in 2017. Likewise, wholesale revenue rose to $6.6 billion in 2018, up from $5.9 billion the year prior.

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Revenue generated from paid subscription streaming services continues to be the biggest driver of this growth, with paid subscriptions of these services having increased to over 50.2 million for the first time ever, up sharply from 2017’s 35.3 million. However, while streaming remains the biggest revenue driver, digital downloads and physical sales continue to plummet.

Permanent digital downloads of albums, tracks and ringtones, etc. fell 25% in 2018, accounting for only 11% of all revenue generated. Likewise, revenues from most physical products also saw a sharp decline, down 23% from 2017 to $1.15 billion. In particular, revenue from CDs fell 34% to $698 million. That said, vinyl continues to buck the trend, having shown an 8% increase in 2018 and ultimately accounted for $419 million in revenue—1/3rd of the revenue of all physical formats.

The report also goes on to reveal the average revenue generated by recorded music via a number of streaming and physical formats in 2018, in case you were curious. You can read it in full here.