The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has released its mid-year report on the music industry. Music sales as a whole were down nearly five percent in the US to $3.2 billion but it’s the digital music revenue that most are looking at today.
Collectively, digital music sales dropped half a percentage point to $2.2 billion in the first half of 2014 although revenue from paid streaming music subscriptions shot up 23.2 percent to $371.4 million. Ad-support streaming, meanwhile, accounted for $164.7 million, up a whopping 56.5 percent during the year-ago period.
Based on these figures, RIAA estimates there were roughly 7.8 million paying subscribers in the US during the first half of the year compared to an estimated 5.5 million last year.
In what is a familiar tune to those who have kept a watchful eye on the industry, digital sales of individual tracks and albums fell 11.8 percent while CD sales dropped 19.1 percent to $715.6 million. Interestingly enough, vinyl sales (apparently people still buy records) shot up 41 percent to $6.5 million.
Looking at the bigger picture, digital music accounted for 68 percent of all music revenue in the US (41 percent from downloads and 27 percent from streaming). Physical sales were responsible for 28 percent of revenue while three percent was credited to synchronization and one percent to ringtones (apparently people still buy these, too).
How do you listen to music these days? Do you prefer to buy digital tracks and albums, do you rely on streaming or perhaps still like to purchase physical goods?