Amid stories of doom and gloom about how the proliferation of streaming services is splintering the recording industry, new figures have emerged suggesting that those very business models could prove its saving grace. Paid streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have nearly doubled their revenue so far in 2016, and at the rate they're going this will be the first year since the late '90s.
In the first half of 2016, paid streaming services brought in over $1 billion in revenue. In all of 2015 they brought in roughly $1.2 billion, meaning that they're on track to nearly double their sales this year.
This also means that paid streaming services are close to surpassing digital album and single downloads, as they total only $60,000 more. The information arrives by way of The Verge, who cited a midyear report released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
"To me this feels like the music industry is succeeding despite itself," The Verge's Ben Popper remarked. "They have not stopped demonizing services like YouTube and Spotify in the press, and yet those same companies are the ones fueling the one bright spot in an otherwise shrinking business."
With a fiscal quarter to go, time will tell whether or not the subscription services responsible for the growth will continue to bolster the industry. If their current trajectory is any indicator, however, our current "golden age" of streaming might not come to a close as rapidly as some have predicted.