The US record business is enjoying life. The good days are back again (well not like the ‘80s and 90s), but better than during the recession years. Revenues are up to $9.8 billion, a level not seen since 2007. 75% of that revenue comes from streaming, which shows just how quickly and overwhelmingly consumers have adopted it. Vinyl also continues to show its muscle, now accounting for one-third of all physical sales revenue.
This comes from a report by the RIAA, the Recording Industry Association of America. Streaming revenues grew 30% to $7.4 billion, now 75% of recorded music business revenues. This also accounted for almost all of the revenue growth in the business as well, which is very important. The number of paid subscriptions grew 42% to 50.2 million, though it made clear how they are broken down by discounted, full-paid, free trial and family plans.
The vinyl revival has been on the rise for so long that inevitably that there has been talk of the bubble bursting. That has not happened yet as there was still over 7% growth in sales in 2018 to $419 million. As a result, it became one-third of physical sales in the US. However, the driving factor of its dominant position in the market is CD sales bottoming out. CD sales fell by 34% to $698 million, the first time revenues from CDs were less than one billion dollars since 1986.
Physical music also overtook digital downloads as the second largest source of income. Digital downloads have fallen to 11% of income, down from 42% in 2013.
Read the full report here.