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U.S. Recorded Music Industry Growth Slows In First Half of 2018

Streaming now delivers 75% of the recorded industry revenue.

The United States recorded music industry growth is starting to slow in the first half of 2018. According to a report from the RIAA, industry revenues grew to $4.6 billion, up $400 million, but in the same period between 2016 and 2017, growth was $700 million from $3.5 billion and $4.2 billion. Streaming revenue now makes up 75% of all revenue, growing 28.4%. One problem is that streaming isn’t growing as quickly as it once was. Streaming revenues were up $1 billion between 2016 and 2017 and now are only up $700 million between 2017 and 2018.

Streaming can’t make up for the remarkable fall in other sectors such as CD sales, which have tumbled an alarming 46% year-over-year from 35 million units to 18.6 million and $420 million to $245 million in sales. Digital downloads for singles and albums have fallen 26% from the same period last year.

Vinyl is helping to prop up physical sales, as growth continues at a steady clip, shipping 8.1 million units from 7.2 million and worth $199 million compared to $176 million the year before.

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If streaming can’t prop up the entire industry, then there will be issues. Artists need to find other revenue streams that aren’t streaming or vinyl. Merchandise needs to be doing better, as well as sync. Live isn’t a part of the puzzle here, but we can’t force all artists to be totally reliant on touring. 

Read the report here.

RIAA 2018 Mid-Year Report

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