Live music cratered in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, sending thousands of musicians into poverty and event business into a tailspin. Despite all of this, the recording side of the music business kept on growing, even if many musicians had no idea. According to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America)'s annual report, revenues for the US recorded music industry grew by 9.2 percent last year to $12.2 billion. The most shocking part of their report was that vinyl sales outstripped CD sales for the first time since 1986.
Of the $12.2 billion in revenue, $10.1 billion of that came from streaming or 83%. Streaming revenues also grew by 13.4% in 2020. Full paid subscriptions for streaming services grew by 14.6% to $7 billion with the number of subscriptions growing by 15 million to 75.5 million in 2020, which is rather staggering considering the population of the United States.
CD sales slumped 23.4% from $630.7 million to $483.3 million, while vinyl sales surged 29.2% from $479.5 million to $619.6 million. All of this even in a pandemic that slowed down production and shipping of vinyl.
See the full report here to see how one side of the business is doing great.