US recorded music revenues up 12%

US recorded music revenues up 12%

Revenues from recorded music in the US last year grew 12% to $9.8 billion (£7.42bn) at estimated retail value, according to new figures from the RIAA. 

Revenues in 2018 measured at wholesale value also grew 12% to $6.6bn (£5bn). 

For the third year in a row, growth was driven by increased revenues from subscription services including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Subscriptions reached 50.2 million, up from 35.3m in 2017. 

Streaming growth was offset by decreases in digital and download sales. Download album sales were down 25% to $500m (£378.6m), while track sales were down 28% to $490m (£371m). 

While the US business is, like the UK, benefiting from the streaming boom, it is not yet back to the peak. The RIAA figures are still some way off the $10.7bn (£8.1bn) in 2007.

Revenues from shipments of physical decreased to $1.15bn (£871m), down 23% from 2017. At estimated retail value, CDs fell 34% to $698m (£528.5m), the first time revenues from CDs were less than $1bn since 1986.

“Make no mistake, many challenges continue to confront our community,” said RIAA CEO/chairman Mitch Glazier. “As noteworthy as it is for the business to approach $10 billion in revenues again, that only returns US music to its 2007 levels. Stream-ripping, and a lack of accountability for many Big Tech companies that drive down the value of music, remain serious threats as the industry strives for additional growth.”

author twitter FOLLOW Andre Paine

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