The music industry has been dancing on the precipice of a sweeping streaming takeover for years. According to a recent report from the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), that transition was solidified with a reported music streaming growth of 30% in 2018 alone.
The $7.4 billion in categorical revenue came from predicted streaming mammoths like Spotify and YouTube, as well as digital radio hubs like Pandora and SiriusXM. The music business at large was heftily bolstered by paid subscriptions to these streaming domains, accounting for over half the industry’s yearly takeaway for the first time ever.
While digital downloads in recent years accounted for nearly half of industry sales, it spent 2018 continuing its swift decline, finishing with approximately $1 billion in total revenue, dropping a sizable 25% from 2017, and garnering just 11% of the industry pie. Mirroring downloads is physical sales, down 23% in 2018 alone, with $1.15 billion in sales.
A bright spot for the latter sector, however, came in the form of a firm incline in vinyl sales, which saw its most profitable year ($419 million) since 1988, which should come as no surprise to those who’ve been tuning in to industry trends of the past decade or so.
The 2018 report in full can be found here.
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