Stream On: 2015 Was a Landmark Year for Music Streaming

Stream On: 2015 Was a Landmark Year for Music Streaming

#SXfam, the numbers are in: 2015 was music streaming’s biggest year ever. Yesterday, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that streaming is now the music industry’s single largest revenue stream, taking over music downloads for the first time. Streaming music revenues got a significant bump of 29% in 2015, while digital download revenues declined 10%. In fact, total streaming revenues last year exceeded $2 billion for the first time ever!

Here at SoundExchange, we’re delighted to be a part of these landmark numbers—and to represent, 16% of the entire recorded music industry, which at a wholesale value, came in at $4.95 billion.

New Pie Chart for Blog Post

With its flexibility and tremendous range of music offerings, music streaming is clearly a major draw for music lovers—especially as more and more people walk around with Internet access in their pockets.

Unfortunately, there is some troubling data in the published numbers – specifically what the RIAA calls the “value grab.” The value grab refers to a move made by tech giants who use music to drive revenue for their businesses but do so at the expense of the artists and creators that bring the music we love to life. The use of content by the tech companies goes up but revenues for the creators do not. Something doesn’t quite add up there.

We’ve always been committed to ensuring that all creators are paid fairly when their creative content is used on every platform. That’s why we support the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, which would implement several reforms that would ensure that value grabbing by tech giants wouldn’t be possible. To learn more about Fair Play Fair Pay and to add your voice to the movement for artists and creators to be paid, write your member of congress here.

Our mission is to make the music industry a richer, more vibrant and more equitable environment for all music creators, rights owners, services and fans.

Want to stay looped into the streaming boom? Join SoundExchange to collect your share of revenue when the music you create is played on digital radio, and subscribe to SoundByte, our publication for the entire recorded music industry!