U.S. Streaming Revenues Surpassed CD Sales in 2014
In 2014, for the first time ever, music streaming services generated more revenue than CDs in the United States. Having been the most important source of income for the music industry since the early 1990s, the CD was dethroned by digital downloads as recently as 2012, the same year download revenues hit their peak.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, CD sales amounted to $1.86 billion last year while streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora or iTunes Radio contributed $1.87 billion to the music industry’s total of almost $7 billion. Revenue from permanent downloads amounted to $2.58 billion, continuing the downward trend as consumers turn to streaming services instead. Within three years, the number of paid streaming subscribers more than tripled from 1.8 million to 7.7 million.
The recorded music industry in the U.S. now generates roughly two thirds of its revenue from digital sources, indicating how drastically the music market has changed since the beginning of the 21st century.
- Revenues from music sales in Germany 1998-2015Revenues from music sales in Germany 1998-2015
- Change of music sales in the U.S. 2009-2015Change of music sales in the U.S. 2009-2015
- Recorded music sales in the U.S. 2014, by distribution channelRecorded music sales in the U.S. 2014, by distribution channel
- Digital Market Outlook: digital music revenue in European countries 2016Digital Market Outlook: digital music revenue in European countries 2016
- Market share of the largest music publishers worldwide from 2007 to 2015Market share of the largest music publishers worldwide from 2007 to 2015
- Global revenue of the music industry 2002-2015Global revenue of the music industry 2002-2015
- Recorded music market revenue worldwide 2005-2015Recorded music market revenue worldwide 2005-2015
- Retail value of music shipments in the U.S. from 1999 to 2015Retail value of music shipments in the U.S. from 1999 to 2015
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