The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has released its annual year-end report, revealing that the continued increase in paid subscription services resulted in revenues from recorded music in the United States to grow by 13% in 2019 from $9.8 billion to $11.1 billion.
Paid subscriptions to on-demand streaming services not only contributed the largest share of revenue but also led a 25% rise in revenue last year. With total revenue of $6.8 billion, paid subscriptions accounted for 61% of total recorded music revenues. Total revenues from streaming music – which includes premium subscription services, ad-supported on-demand services, streaming radio services, and other internet radio services, accounted for nearly 80% of all recorded music revenues last year. Unsurprisingly, however, revenues from physical products fell by 0.6% year-over-year. Total revenues from digital downloads, on the other hand, were down 18% in 2019.
The number of paid subscriptions went up 29% in 2019 to 60.4 million. Four years back, that number stood at just 10.8 million. The increase in paid subscriptions was mainly driven by services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Spotify announced earlier this month that it now has 271 million active users worldwide, with 124 million of them being paid subscribers. While Apple hasn’t yet announced final numbers for the calendar year 2019, it had surpassed the 60 million paid subscribers milestone in June.