Streaming accounted for nearly half of recorded music revenues in the first half of 2016: RIAA

Over the course of the first half of 2016, 18 million streaming subscribers were reported, up from 9 million over the same period last year.


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released a report on the shipment and revenue statistics for the first half of 2016. The recording industry showed its strongest growth late in over 10 years. Revenues from streaming services compensated for the falling sales in physical media and digital downloads. Subscription and downloads are both forms of digital distribution. Consumption through subscription based services are increasing, while downloads of individual albums and tracks are falling.

Over the course of the first half of 2016, 18 million streaming subscribers were reported, up from 9 million over the same period last year. Subscription services generate more revenues than CD sales, and are nearly on par with permanent downloads. This reflects shifts in consumption and purchase habits. Music consumption has become primarily digital, from being primarily physical, over a span of just six years.

Streaming accounted for nearly half of recorded music revenues in the first half of 2016: RIAA

The RIAA also called out to Google for not doing enough for the music industry. YouTube is the world's biggest music service, according to various metrics. According to RIAA, this means Google's contribution to the music industry should be proportionally large. However, this is not the case, YouTube contributed only 6 percent to the market revenue. Streaming services such as Spotify pay out much more to the industry for playback of the exact same content compared to YouTube. The RIAA has called for better regulations and scrapping of outdated laws that allow such disparities.

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