Streaming Boosts Industry Revenue

Streaming Boosts Industry Revenue

Streaming continued to fuel the music industry’s resurgence through the first half of the year.

Data released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) last week shows the music industry recorded retail revenue of $3.4 billion during the first six months of 2016, an 8.1 percent increase over the $3.2 billion in revenue the industry took in during the first six months of 2015.

Wholesale revenue reached $2.4 billion during the first half of the year, a 5.7 percent increase over 2015.

The music industry’s streaming revenue reached $1.6 billion, a year-over-year increase of 57 percent.

Streaming accounted for 47 percent of the industry’s revenue, according to the RIAA report.

The mid-year barometer shows an industry on the rise. It also provides clear evidence that streaming has emerged as the preferred choice among music fans and represents one of the most significant sources of revenue for music creators.

SoundExchange distributed $403.4 million in digital performance royalties to recording artists and rights owners in the first half of 2016, representing 16.8 percent of the industry’s wholesale revenue over the first six months of the year.

Paid streaming services earned a combined $1 billion in revenue and boosted subscribers 112 percent.




A separate study by Nielsen confirms that the appetite among consumers for streaming continues to grow. Nielsen found 80 percent of music listeners surveyed said they have used an online music service in the past year, according to its annual Music 360 poll, up from 75 percent a year ago.

While streaming continues to grow, revenue from digital downloads and physical copies of music continued to fall in the first half of the year. Album downloads fell 11.4 percent, and album sales fell 24 percent. Sales of CDs fell 16.4 percent.

Read the RIAA’s full report here.