Looking Ahead: 2017 Will be Another Record Year for Digital Radio

Looking Ahead: 2017 Will be Another Record Year for Digital Radio

Analysts predict some incredible growth for the music industry – and streaming in particular – in the coming years.

First, let’s review what happened in 2016.

U.S. music industry revenue grew 11.4 percent in 2016 to $7.7 billion. As Ben Sisario put it in his New York Times story: “That is the industry’s highest sales figure since 2009 and its best percentage gain since 1998.”

Digital music was the single-most important factor in that growth. Specifically, streaming accounted for 51 percent of U.S. industry revenue – the first time that’s ever happened.

Now for the new research. In short, analysts foresee continued growth in digital radio.

In the U.S., revenue from streaming will reach $4.8 billion this year and $8.8 billion by 2025, according to MIDiA’s Mark Mulligan.

Subscription and ad-supported, non-interactive digital radio services all will grow, he told SoundExchange.

“The U.S. streaming market will be worth $4.8 billion in 2017 (in retail terms), up from $3.5 billion in 2016. Subscriptions will be the key driver of revenue growth, adding $1.2 billion compared to $0.2 billion for ad-supported. However, ad-supported is a major component of the U.S. market when factoring in revenue from semi-interactive radio services, contributing in total 30 percent to all streaming revenue, one of the highest shares globally,” Mulligan said.

By 2025, revenue from streaming will represent 79 percent of all U.S. recorded music revenues and 39 percent of the global streaming market, he said.

“Though emerging markets and some later-stage growth European markets will all gain market share by 2025, the U.S. will remain the world’s most important streaming music market,” Mulligan said.

A separate report also predicts continued growth in the music industry. Recorded music revenue in the U.S. is projected to hit $8.36 billion in 2017, according to PwC. By 2021, the research group said, music streaming revenue is projected to reach $7.4 billion in the U.S. That would be nearly double last year’s $3.9 billion in streaming revenue identified by the RIAA (as mentioned above, MIDiA’s research is slightly different and pegged U.S. streaming revenue at $3.5 billion in 2016).

So why are these projections important?

Since analysts expect streaming to continue growing, recording artists and rights owners need to register with SoundExchange.

We’ve already paid more than $4.5 billion in digital performance royalties to date. But you must register with us to receive royalties. You can do that here. (In English or Spanish!)

You can also become a member – registration is different than membership. Membership is free and allows us to collect international royalties on your behalf and get those royalties to you.

At SoundExchange we always knew streaming would represent a critical part of artists’ revenue stream. But you must register to receive your royalties.

Please check out our Registration and Membership page here. And don’t forget that becoming a member has a lot of benefits. Check out our member benefits here.