RIAA Releases Mid-Year Data On The US Music Industry

If you’re interested in the question of whether or not streaming revenues are compensating for the decline in sales of CD’s and digital downloads, then you’re going to want to take a look at the Recording Industry Association of America’s mid-year (2014)  shipments and revenue statistics. This data looks at the US music industry specifically, and gives an important mid-year snapshot of the different trends to keep an eye on.

  • Overall industry revenues declined by 2.5%, from $2.3 billion in 2013 to $2.2 billion in 2014 at the wholesale level. At the retail level, the year-over-year decline was even steeper: a 4.9% decline from $3.4 billion in 2013 to $3.2 billion in 2014.
  • At this time last year, streaming revenues were valued at $673 million, and grew a whopping28% in this first half of 2014, bringing them to a total of $859 million. Please note that these figures include revenues both from subscription-based services (Spotify, Rdio, etc), streaming radio services (Pandora, Sirius XM) in addition to non-subscription, on-demand services like Vevo and YouTube.
  • Paid subscriptions grew to $371 million, up 23% year-over-year in terms of value.
  • The number of paid subscribers is also growing – up to 7.8 million in this period, compared to 5.5 million at this time last year.
  • On-demand supported streaming services and SoundExchange distributions accounted for 57% of total streaming revenues for the first half of 2014.
  • Revenues for permanent digital downloads decreased by 12% to $1.3 billion for the first half of 2014. Digital albums were hit particularly hard, with an 11% decline in sales and a 14% decline in their value. As for digital tracks, they also decreased by 9% in terms of sales, and their value decreased by 11%. 
  • Physical album sales were predictably in bad shape – down 14% from the first half of 2013.
  • Synchronization royalties were valued at $88 million for the first half of the year, a decrease of10% for the same time period last year.
  • Streaming music services are continuing to grow in importance, with 27% of total industry revenues coming from access models. This is very nearly equal to the 28% contributed by physical products.
  • Oh, and in case you were wondering: the growth in revenues from streaming music services has offset the entire decline in revenues from permanent downloads in the first half of 2014. 

For further reading, the full report from the RIAA can be found here: http://riaa.com/media/1806D32F-B3DD-19D3-70A4-4C31C0217836.pdf