What just happened? Recorded music in the US generated $5.4 billion in revenue in the first half of 2019 according to a recent report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). That’s an increase of 18 percent compared to the same period a year earlier and is a direct result of more people signing up for streaming music services.

Speaking of, revenue from streaming music as a whole – which includes revenue from paid streaming services like Apple Music and Tidal, online radio providers like Pandora and SiriusXM and ad-supported, on-demand offerings from Spotify and YouTube – grew 26 percent to $4.3 billion in the half.

Collectively, streaming music accounted for 80 percent of industry revenues in 1H 2019. Paid subscriptions exceeded 60 million for the first time, we're told.

Revenue gains from streaming were partially offset by continued declines in digital downloads. In 1H 2019, revenues from this method of acquisition dipped 18 percent to just $462 million. The RIAA said individual track sales were down 16 percent while digital album sales fell 23 percent year-over-year.

Earnings from vinyl album sales grew 13 percent in the half to $224 million – impressive for the medium and era but still only accounting for four percent of total revenues in 1H 2019. Total net revenues from physical products sold reached $485 million, a modest increase of five percent compared to the previous year.

Masthead credit: Studio mixing desk by Brian A Jackson