Streaming Revenue in 2016 Topped Downloads, CDs and Vinyl Sales Combined
Things are looking up for the recorded music industry, which brought in $7.65 billion in revenue last year, up 11.4% from 2015. It’s the industry’s first double-digit rise in revenue since 1998, although the total is still only half of its peak of $14.6 billion in 1999.
Billboard reports that streaming revenue from services like Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and Pandora is leading the way with revenue of $3.93 billion, up 68.5% from 2015. That figure tops the total of downloads, CDs and vinyl sales combined, which together brought in $3.51 million.
To say that’s a huge shift would be an understatement: the industry that once railed against streaming services now counts on them as their primary revenue stream. That revenue shakes down to artists, too, who are finally seeing significant income from streams even though the per-stream payouts remain low, at an average of $0.0072.
After averaging a growth rate of 38% per year from 2012 through 2015, vinyl revenue grew just 3.5% in 2016, leading to speculation that format’s resurgence has peaked.
Digital download revenue declined 24.1% last year and sales of physical media dropped 15.7%.