2015 was a big year for music streaming in the United States. The launch of new services such as Apple Music and Tidal further accelerated the seemingly unstoppable rise of music streaming. According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s year-end report, the number of paid streaming subscriptions grew from 7.7 million to 10.8 million in the past year and, for the first time ever, streaming proceeds accounted for the lion’s share of the music industry’s total revenue.
Amounting to $2.41 billion, streaming revenues increased by almost 30 percent in 2015, offsetting the combined losses in revenue from downloads and physical format sales. Paid subscriptions, i.e. services such as Spotify Premium, Tidal and Apple Music, were the largest and fastest-growing segment of the streaming market. Subscription revenue jumped by more than 50 percent from $800 to $1,219 million while revenue from radio-like streaming services such as Pandora or SiriusXM increased by a modest 4 percent to $803 million. The smallest portion of streaming revenues came from ad-supported services which contributed $385 million to music streaming’s historical result.
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