U.S. Music Industry - Statistics & Facts

U.S. Music Industry - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about Music Industry in the U.S.

The American music industry generated 15 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, making up 30 percent of the total 50 billion U.S. dollars generated by the global music industry. Despite constant shifts in the way music is enjoyed by fans—the sudden rise of music file piracy, the development of online music streaming services and digital music sales—music lovers have not disappeared.


Nevertheless, illegal downloading and person-to-person file trading have taken a substantial bite from the music industry’s global revenue. Worldwide, revenue fell from 25 billion U.S. dollars in 2002 to just 17 billion U.S. dollars in 2012. In 2011, paid downloads and physical CD sales accounted for only 35 percent of all music acquisitions in 2011. And as of 2011, 80 percent Americans surveyed considered it reasonable to share music files with family members, and 60 considered it reasonable to share music files with friends.

But industry statistics also show that fewer consumers are deciding to acquire music files illegally. From January 2012 to 2013 the total unpaid acquisition volume was down 32 percent, thanks to the rise of relatively inexpensive, legal, online music streaming services, like Pandora and Spotify. Between 2011 and 2012, revenue from music subscription and streaming rose from 650 million U.S. dollars to 1.0 billion U.S. dollars. Of internet users surveyed in October 2012, thirty-seven percent reported using the free music streaming service Pandora. Pandora also garnered almost 20 million unique U.S. visitors in June 2012, ranking fourth on a list of online music platforms ranked by visitors that month.



Photo: sxc.hu / Ambrozjo

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