Apple Music, other streaming services account for 80% of music industry revenue

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify continued to be the engine driving America's music business, with the category accounting for some 80% of all industry revenue for the first half of 2019.

RIAA 2019


According to a fresh report from the Recording Industry Association of America (PDF link), revenue from streaming services hit $4.3 billion in the half, up 26% from the same time last year. The segment incorporates revenue from subscription products like Apple Music, digital and customized radio services like Pandora and SiriusXM, and ad-supported on-demand services like YouTube.

Subscription services were once again the biggest driver of income at a collective $3.3 billion, up 31% year-over-year. Also included in the paid streaming category are contributions from "Limited Tier" products such as Amazon Prime and Pandora Plus, which brought in $482 million.

The growth is thanks to a massive influx of new users -- an average of 1 million per month over the past year -- that saw paid subscriptions hit 61.1 million users, up 30% from 2018.

Altogether, income from subscription services accounted for 62% of overall industry revenues and 77% of U.S. streaming music revenues, the report said.

Streaming services helped push retail revenues to $5.4 billion, up 18% from $4.6 billion in 2018.

The RIAA notes gains in streaming revenue were partially offset by declines in digital sales. In the first half of 2019, download revenues drooped to $462 million split between individual track and album purchases. That compares to $561 million in revenue in 2018 and $765 million in 2017.

Apple's streaming solution continues to gain traction worldwide, seemingly at pace with market leader Spotify. In June, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said Apple Music hit the 60 million subscriber mark, an achievement for a product that launched in 2015.

Spotify remains the clear dominant streaming presence, however, and in July recorded 108 million paid subscribers, up 30% year-over-year. The platform boasts a massive 232 million listeners across its paid and free-to-listen tiers.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    ...to me it begs the question what percentage of these revenues has historically made it to the content creators - and to be clear I mean musicians & composers...? I buy direct from musicians whenever I can...
    burnsideAppleExposed
  • Reply 2 of 18
    Nothing like logging into CDbaby and discovering multiple streams from around world that add up to .003 cents. Still ... from around the world!
    applesnorangesburnsideFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Nothing like logging into CDbaby and discovering multiple streams from around world that add up to .003 cents. Still ... from around the world!
    Genuine question.  Who's fault is that?  Is most of the revenue going to your label or elsewhere? Are you independent?  It's kinda hard to gauge what you're saying without context.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Cd killed the vinyl album, digital downloads killed the CD, streaming killed the digital download...
    All the while the money actually getting to the artist has declined.
    There is no longer a real investment in developing music and musicians. So we get mostly crap for popular music. Even more than before. And that music is taking the biggest part of the money out there.
    mobirdburnsidewatto_cobraAppleExposed
  • Reply 5 of 18

    “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

    ― Hunter S. Thompson

    mobirdking editor the gratelostkiwiFileMakerFellerAppleExposed
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Don't want to hijack these threads but I do have a question. Will iTunes officially be dead with the next operating systems coming out? I just read an article that said for sure mac's new OS will not have iTunes but haven't heard much about iOS.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    rwx9901 said:
    Don't want to hijack these threads but I do have a question. Will iTunes officially be dead with the next operating systems coming out? I just read an article that said for sure mac's new OS will not have iTunes but haven't heard much about iOS.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210200

    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Nothing like logging into CDbaby and discovering multiple streams from around world that add up to .003 cents. Still ... from around the world!
    Genuine question.  Who's fault is that?  Is most of the revenue going to your label or elsewhere? Are you independent?  It's kinda hard to gauge what you're saying without context.
    No label. Just a punk rocker making his way the only way he knows how (i.e. one nominal payment to CDbaby, and all the available profit is mine).
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Cd killed the vinyl album, digital downloads killed the CD, streaming killed the digital download...
    All the while the money actually getting to the artist has declined.
    There is no longer a real investment in developing music and musicians. So we get mostly crap for popular music. Even more than before. And that music is taking the biggest part of the money out there.
    I very much agree...
    The big music labels used to both sponsor and act as gate keepers for music and musicians.   It was an ugly business but we got beautiful, music filled songs that often took months and years to perfect and produce.

    Now we get single, lonely voices in monotone "singing" along to electronic thump-thumps.   It's cheap.  And we get what we pay for.
    lostkiwiAppleExposed
  • Reply 10 of 18
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    Yay, I’m part of the 9% who still buy physical media. I also buy digital downloads. I don’t stream music whatsoever. I refuse to subscribe to every damned thing. Clearly I am in the extreme minority in respecting music and musicians enough to actually ACTIVELY pay them for their product. Everyone else is just consuming free ad-supported crap or subscribing to ... what? Listen to random music? Does no one respect the art enough to listen to an album any more?

    What the heck is “Synch 2%” on that chart?
  • Reply 11 of 18
    dysamoria said:
    Yay, I’m part of the 9% who still buy physical media. I also buy digital downloads. I don’t stream music whatsoever. I refuse to subscribe to every damned thing. Clearly I am in the extreme minority in respecting music and musicians enough to actually ACTIVELY pay them for their product. Everyone else is just consuming free ad-supported crap or subscribing to ... what? Listen to random music? Does no one respect the art enough to listen to an album any more?

    What the heck is “Synch 2%” on that chart?
    You know you can stream albums right?
  • Reply 12 of 18
    davendaven Posts: 543member
    Where do the royalties for over the air radio stations fit in? Does that count in the streaming piece of pie or is it not included? How much is it?
  • Reply 13 of 18
    daven said:
    Where do the royalties for over the air radio stations fit in? Does that count in the streaming piece of pie or is it not included? How much is it?
    "Dad, what's a radio station?"
  • Reply 14 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,106member
    daven said:
    Where do the royalties for over the air radio stations fit in? Does that count in the streaming piece of pie or is it not included? How much is it?
    No, radio stations and other licensed uses aren't included in this report. 
    http://www.riaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Mid-Year-2019-RIAA-Music-Revenues-Report.pdf

    Over the air radio is governed by a different revenue structure. 
    https://www.bmi.com/creators/royalty/us_radio_royalties

    FunFact: According to the most recent info I can find (early 2018) only 17% of streaming revenues are actually paid out to the artist performing them. 
    edited September 8 muthuk_vanalingamAppleExposed
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Cd killed the vinyl album, digital downloads killed the CD, streaming killed the digital download...
    All the while the money actually getting to the artist has declined.
    There is no longer a real investment in developing music and musicians. So we get mostly crap for popular music. Even more than before. And that music is taking the biggest part of the money out there.
    And “Video Killed the Radio Star”
  • Reply 16 of 18
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,667member
    dysamoria said:
    Clearly I am in the extreme minority in respecting music and musicians enough to actually ACTIVELY pay them for their product.
    Bravo for also buying CDs (or vinyl) and otherwise actively supporting musicians you admire. I do this as well (see them on tour, buy the merch, support their fundraising projects, etc). But I also subscribe to Apple Music. I'm not sure why you would presume that nobody who streams ever spends money on "hardcopies" of their favourite stuff, though I do suspect you're right that we're in the minority.

    dysamoria said:
    Everyone else is just consuming free ad-supported crap or subscribing to ... what? Listen to random music? Does no one respect the art enough to listen to an album any more?
    Why would you presume that people don't or can't listen to albums on streaming services? Just taking a quick look at screenshots of Apple Music (and presumably Spotify) shows that you can certainly do exactly this.

    dysamoria said:
    What the heck is “Synch 2%” on that chart?
    The last time (probably last year) AI wrote an article on this topic, ISTR that they explained it. "Synch" refers to income from licensing out the music to other media, from ads to movies, video games, i.e. anything other than the original recording in its various formats.
    edited September 8
  • Reply 17 of 18
    Cd killed the vinyl album, digital downloads killed the CD, streaming killed the digital download...
    All the while the money actually getting to the artist has declined.
    There is no longer a real investment in developing music and musicians. So we get mostly crap for popular music. Even more than before. And that music is taking the biggest part of the money out there.
    I very much agree...
    The big music labels used to both sponsor and act as gate keepers for music and musicians.   It was an ugly business but we got beautiful, music filled songs that often took months and years to perfect and produce.

    Now we get single, lonely voices in monotone "singing" along to electronic thump-thumps.   It's cheap.  And we get what we pay for.
    Recorded music formats have always lasted just long enough for each generation of teenagers to think it’s the way it’s always been.  Same goes for the music produced for that generation. They grow up, remember the good stuff, forget the bad, and declare the current stuff to be crap. 

    Record labels have mostly been in the business of churning out money making pop for most of recorded music’s history. 

    The biggest difference now is that online services allow independent creators to distribute their music without having to foot the bill to make boxes of physical media that only gets sold or even seen in their hometown. 

    For the listener, all you have to do is look for it and you can find it. If you can’t find your way past current pop and your generation’s oldies, it’s not the industry’s fault. You’re just not looking for it. 
    IreneWAppleExposed
  • Reply 18 of 18
    Audio is perfect for streaming.  It doesn’t take much bandwidth to get extremely high quality music.

    Next up is movies, streaming is already biting into physical sales.  Studios are trying to respond by upping the quality (requirements) but we’re getting to the point our eyes can’t tell the difference.

    I’m just waiting for VR glasses to kill off the TV experience.  Theatre's will do fine though... it’s a social experience. 
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