Physical Sales Outpaced Digital Downloads in 2017
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) just released their final industry-wide numbers for music sales in 2017, and while most of the trends we’ve seen develop over the past few years have continued, there are some interesting footnotes.
To start, overall revenue in the U.S. music industry increased 16.5% in 2017 to an estimated retail value of $8.7 billion. This marks the first time since 1999 that music revenue in the U.S. has grown two years in a row. The estimated retail value matches that of 2008, although it’s still 40% below its peak levels in the late ’90s / early ’00s with increased revenue from streaming not yet being enough to offset what’s been lost by the decline in album sales and digital downloads.
Paid track and album downloads (iTunes, etc.) continued their decline, dropping 25% from 2016 to account for 15% of all sales. That dip was enough to mean digital downloads now account for less overall revenue than physical album sales (17%), even though physical sales suffered a 4% drop from 2016. The last time physical album sales accounted for more revenue than digital downloads was in 2011. Vinyl revenues were up 10% from 2016 to $395 million, while CD income fell 6% to $1.1 million.
Revenue from streaming services continued its sharp rise, jumping 43% from 2016 to give it 65% of the market share. These increases came primarily from paid streaming subscription services like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon, etc.
You can read the full RIAA report right here.
[via Ultimate Guitar]