Music Revenues in the US Increased By 9.2% in 2020

Graphic by Bryce Owen ’17 - Many students use various streaming services to listen to music.

The coronavirus pandemic may have put a damper on the events industry, but the music industry as a whole is stronger than ever. According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) annual industry report, music revenues in the United States grew by 9.2% in 2020.

That marks the fifth consecutive year of growth for the recorded music industry. Despite Covid-19 related tour cancellations, retail store closures and other disruptions, music revenues reached $12.2 billion for the first time on record.

The largest driver was by far streaming services, accounting for 83% of reported revenues. Encapsulating paid subscriptions from Spotify and Apple Music to on-demand services like YouTube and online fitness services, it’s really no surprise, especially with the majority of the population stuck at home.

Meanwhile, physical music sales contributed to 9% of overall revenue; which represents around $1 billion in nominal value. The report also stated that for the first time since 1986, vinyl sales surpassed CD sales. Revenues from CDs continued to decline, in 2020 by 23% to $483 million.

Interested in finding out more? Check out the RIAA’s full industry report here!