RIAA Report Portends Vinyl Revenues Eclipsing CD Sales This Year

Revenue from interactive streaming through services such as YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music now accounts for 63% of overall US industry revenue. Digital radio (Pandora, Sirius XM satellite radio, and streams of AM/FM stations) is also returning to growth after stalling last year, exceeding the $1 billion mark in 2018 and adding another 12% of industry revenue. That means that streaming now accounts for three-quarters of total industry revenue.

These and other benchmark stats are spelled out in the RIAA’s 2018 Music Industry Revenue Report.

Paid downloads and CDs are continuing their slides into obsolescence and CDs are on track to fall below vinyl by the end of this year.

Revenues from shipments of physical products decreased to $1.15 billion, down 23% from 2017. At estimated retail value, CDs fell 34% to $698 million, the first time revenues from CDs were less than $1B since 1986. Vinyl records continued to be the exception to the decline of unit-based formats. Revenues from vinyl albums in 2018 totalled $419 million, an increase of 8% versus last year, and the highest level since 1988. By value, vinyl made up more than one-third of revenues from physical formats.

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