In 2019, revenue from digital album downloads amounted to 394.5 million U.S. dollars, less than half the figure recorded in 2016. Meanwhile, subscription and streaming revenues have been increasing annually and reached 8.83 billion in 2019, making up the vast majority of revenues for the entire music industry.
Digital music – additional information
The increase in digital music revenue, more specifically subscription and streaming services, may be down to the accessibility and availability of digital music. For legal downloads, consumers can pick between services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. Of course, there are countless numbers of illegal sites which distribute digital music also. In 2017, approximately 53 percent of global internet users aged 16 to 24 admitted to accessing music through copyright infringement, the most popular method being music ripping.
Digital music sales have made a huge impact on the listings of best-selling lists with digital sales either being combined with physical sales or set apart. The list of the top-selling digital songs in the United States in 2018 features artists such as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Drake. The title for the top selling digital song goes to ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran. The song sold over one million units in the United States from December 2017 to June 2018.
* Includes master ringtones, ringbacks, and, prior to 2013, music videos, full length downloads, and other mobile.
**SoundExchange Distributions as well as subscription and streaming not distributed by SoundExchange.
*** Includes Kiosks, music video downloads, and starting in 2016 other digital music licensing.
In 2012, RIAA changed the way it reports subscription figures. Earlier figures for this category are available in the download documents. Figures for the period 2008 to 2017 were taken from RIAA's earlier publications.
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RIAA. (February 25, 2020). Digital music revenue in the United States from 2008 to 2019, by type (in million U.S. dollars) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved July 12, 2020, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/186710/digital-music-revenue-in-the-us-since-2008/
RIAA. "Digital music revenue in the United States from 2008 to 2019, by type (in million U.S. dollars)." Chart. February 25, 2020. Statista. Accessed July 12, 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/186710/digital-music-revenue-in-the-us-since-2008/
RIAA. (2020). Digital music revenue in the United States from 2008 to 2019, by type (in million U.S. dollars). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: July 12, 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/186710/digital-music-revenue-in-the-us-since-2008/
RIAA. "Digital Music Revenue in The United States from 2008 to 2019, by Type (in Million U.S. Dollars)." Statista, Statista Inc., 25 Feb 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/186710/digital-music-revenue-in-the-us-since-2008/
RIAA, Digital music revenue in the United States from 2008 to 2019, by type (in million U.S. dollars) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/186710/digital-music-revenue-in-the-us-since-2008/ (last visited July 12, 2020)