Streaming was responsible for nearly 80 percent of US music revenue in 2019

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,429   +132
Staff member

Streaming accounted for nearly 80 percent of American music revenue in 2019 according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s just-released full-year music report.

Overall music revenue in the US grew 13 percent to $11.1 billion last year, the fourth consecutive year of double digit growth. But more impressive was the 20 percent growth of streaming revenue, accounting for $8.8 billion – or 79 percent – of the haul. Breaking it down further, we see that paid subscriptions to on-demand services were responsible for $6.8 billion, up 25 percent year-over-year.

As a whole, Americans streamed some 1.5 trillion songs in 2019. That’s a lot of music.

It’s fascinating to see how much the music industry and listening habits have changed in just one decade. In 2009, streaming accounted for just five percent of the US music industry’s revenue while physical media was responsible for 59 percent of the pie. By 2019, those numbers shifted dramatically.

The RIAA also calls for technology partners to do more to stop stream-ripping and other forms of piracy. “Music is by far the biggest draw to tech platforms, gaining views and listens that generate enormous revenues for distributors, but in many cases this happens without an appropriate share for creators,” said Mitch Glazier, RIAA chairman and CEO.

Masthead credit: Music notes by Jozef Klopacka. Pie chart by RIAA.

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Posts: 1,297   +1,085
I feel like I'm getting ripped off by $120/year and don't ever actually *own* anything. I stop paying and I lose everything. I would see at least a glimmer of value if I could choose a handful of tracks I can keep.

Why do I stream instead of alternatives?

1. It's not stealing.
2. New music is constantly added. I don't have to spend hours searching.

What do I absolutely hate?
1. Being restricted to listen to what they allow me to listen to.
2. Poor music matching. They "suggest" I add the same songs and bands over and over.
3. [spotify] suggesting explicit lyric songs when I specifically blocked them. I mean, seriously??
4. Don't ever actually own anything. This makes me mad. I don't blame people for having their own library in one way or another.


Posts: 3,558   +4,336
I'll just never understand the idea of paying for an album from a single artist unless its a "best of" or massive discography collection. I can't listen to the same performers over and over..for me its radio, a mixtape or the ol' Nomad Jukebox on shuffle. I wonder if the relative ease of randomizing your playlists might be the main reason streaming has taken over.