Streaming is Dominating the U.S. Recording Industry

If there was ever any question as to why Apple might want to get into the streaming music market, the latest data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) may shed some light on that.

Apple Music has an impressive subscribers list, based on the latest data. According to recent reports, dating back to May of this year, the music streaming platform has upwards of 50 million subscribers. Now, months later, that number has surely climbed. Especially as more free offerings pop up for users to try it out and see what they think.

“The music streaming economy presents myriad new opportunities, but also its share of challenges too,” the RIAA writes. “According to Nielsen, more than 70,000 different albums were released by mid-year. Finding an audience amongst an extraordinary range of music choices, competing for the user’s attention against other entertainment options on the ubiquitous smartphone, and being prominent on dozens of different digital platforms is … critical for success.”

As far as the recording industry as a whole, streaming continues to dominate. That’s certainly not a surprise as that has been the trend for quite some time now, but as it stands right now, based on the latest data from the RIAA, streaming now accounts for a whopping 75 percent of all revenue in the recording industry.

The RIAA reveals streaming is where the money's at

The next closest metric is digital downloads, which only accounts for 12 percent of revenue. Next, it’s physical media sales, which accounts for 10 percent. And, finally, there’s the “Synch” segment (licensing deals) which accounts for just 3% of the total revenue. All of that said, that means streaming now accounts for making more money than all the other categories the RIAA tracks combined.

Streaming is an admittedly broad spectrum here. It not only includes paid subscription services like Apple Music and Spotify, but also the free tiers that some platforms, like Spotify, offer. Video streaming services like VEVO are also accounted for in this category, so there’s a lot of streaming options out there that can be tallied in this particular category. Either way, though, the streaming market is bringing in $3.4 billion so far in 2018.

Another interesting point of interest is adoption, which the RIAA says is about at one million new listeners per month. They don’t break that down per service, though, so it looks like there are one million new people signing up for a music streaming service on a monthly basis. It’s not a secret that Spotify and Apple Music are raking in the lion’s share of attention in that regard, though.

Do you know someone who has yet to switch to a streaming service as their primary way to listen to music?

[via The Verge; RIAA]