Revenue in US music industry hits all-time high

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CU on hands searching through vintage records - stock photo. Credit: GETTY

Revenue in the US music industry has reached its highest level since records began, according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s midyear revenue report.

Retail revenue, which includes revenue from consumer streaming services, jumped 9.3 per cent to an all-time first-half high of $8.4billion, while wholesale revenue is up 8.3 per cent to $5.3 billion.

Streaming revenue increased by 10.3 per cent from last year, reaching $7billion, which makes up 84 per cent of music revenue in the United States. The RIAA explicitly notes that although revenue from paid subscriptions grew 11 per cent to $5.5billion, the total number of paid subscriptions only grew 6 per cent. This is likely down to Spotify increasing the price of its premium subscription for the first time in its history.

Vinyl continues to enjoy growth in revenue, with physical formats hitting the highest revenue since 2013. However, compared to streaming revenue, its numbers are comparatively smaller, coming in at $882million. In total, 72 per cent of physical media sales were for vinyl, bringing in $632million of that. Altogether, 23 million albums were sold last year on vinyl formats compared to 15 million CDs.

CU on hands searching through vintage records – stock photo. Credit: GETTY

Last year, it was reported that global music revenues was at its highest in 2021 since records began in the ’90s, with music from artists such as BTSAdele and Taylor Swift contributing to a £19.5billion increase.

According to industry trading body International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in a new report published Tuesday (March 22), revenues for global recorded music grew by 18.5 per cent in 2021, totalling £19.63billion (US$25.9billion), largely driven by increases in paid subscription streaming.

The report stipulates there were 523million users of paid subscription accounts at the end of 2021 – up from 443million in 2020 – generating an increase of 21.9 per cent, or £9.32billion (US$12.3billion).


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