The RIAA has released Facts & Research on 2016 in a recent report from Sr. VP, Strategic Data Analysis, RIAA Joshua P. Friedlander.
Tracking shipment and revenue, the American association notes 22.6 million streaming subscriptions helped the new model (including Spotify, TIDAL, and Apple Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, YouTube, Vevo services) overtake all other formats for the first time, generating the majority of industry revenues. Overall estimated retail revenues grew 11.4 percent from $6.9 billion to $7.7 billion. Revenues are still only about half what they were in 1999, however.
Streaming grew 17 percent from 2015. No format grew more than paid subscription revenue, which more than doubled, up 114 percent to $2.5 billion.
Sales of digital tracks and albums declined faster than in any previous year from 2016. Individual track sales revenue was down 24 percent, and digital album revenue was down 20 percent but saw the highest share of the download total in history.
Despite this positive news, our “recovery is fragile and fraught with risk,” as RIAA Chairman/CEO Cary Sherman explained in commentary to Medium.
James Donio, President of the Music Business Association (Music Biz), also released a comment on the report, which he described as illuminating a promising path forward. “Altogether, these numbers prove that U.S. consumers remain hungry for music and point toward a future in which digital and physical work together to meet the needs of all music lovers.”
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