Streaming continues to dominate US music industry growth

The US music industry posted its fourth straight year of double-digit growth in 2019 to generate $11.1 billion in revenue. (Rawpixel pic)

LOS ANGELES: The US music industry posted its fourth straight year of double-digit growth in 2019 to generate US$11.1 billion in revenue, an industry tracker said Tuesday, citing the continued domination of streaming.

The year’s total revenue jumped 13%, the Recording Industry Association of America said in its annual report, with streaming accounting for US$8.8 billion, nearly 80% of the sum.

The RIAA said paid subscriptions to streaming services like Spotify and Tidal contributed the largest share and marked the largest source of revenue growth – up 25% versus 2018.

Paid subscriptions accounted for 61% of total record music revenues stateside, with 60.4 million paid subscribers to on-demand services.

Revenues from ad-supported, on-demand streaming platforms like YouTube and Spotify’s free version notably grew 20% versus 2018 – but brought in just US$908 million in revenue.

These types of services saw more than 500 billion songs streamed to more than 100 million US listeners, but formed only 8% of 2019’s revenues.

Revenues from compact discs fell 12% to US$614.5 million, dropping as expected – though not as quickly as digital download revenues, which fell 18% to dip below $1 billion for the first time since 2006, bringing in US$856 million.

But vinyl — the darling of hipsters, music nerds and collectors – marked its 14th consecutive year of growth, raking in US$504 million and swelling 19% year-over-year.

Lovers of side A and side B propelled the format to its highest revenues in more than three decades.