The presence of streaming services in the music industry has been a longstanding debate as companies like Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, Pandora and Tidal continue to build their names – and their revenues – among consumers and businesses alike. Though many in the music industry still make the argument that streaming is damaging the industry overall, the 2016 Mid-Year Report released yesterday by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has proven otherwise.
The report showed that overall revenue for the recorded music industry (referring strictly to money that has come from selling or streaming tracks or albums, not allotting for merchandising, ticket sales, publishing rights or other avenues) increased by roughly 8% since the same time period in 2015 – the strongest industry growth that has occurred since the late 1990s.
In the first half of 2106, streaming service revenue grew distinctly – a total of $1.6 billion, which shot up 57% from the same time period in 2015. This revenue played a significant role in the overall total for the industry: 47% of industry revenues, whereas permanent downloads contributed 31%, physical, 20% and synch, 3%. Paid subscription services for the first half of the year surpassed $1 billion for the first time, more than doubling the revenue as compared to statistics from the prior year.
Ultimately, regardless of the arguments around the existence of these streaming services, it’s hard to deny numbers like this. The music industry is making a comeback, and we can thank streaming, in large part, for that.