Streaming Helps Music Industry Revenue Climb Despite Physical Sales Approaching Zero

Streaming platforms extended their domination of the music market in the United States in 2019, according to data from the Recording Industry Association of America.

Physical Sales Near Disappearance
The subscription-based streaming services and free streamers that rely on advertisements for revenue together contributed for about 79% of all music sales, the RIAA said in a report Wednesday.

Physical sales made up for 59% of all revenue in the music industry just a decade ago, the RIAA noted, while streaming services contributed 5%. In 2019, physical sales dropped to just 10%.

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As an increasing number of consumers prefer streaming platforms, the competition becomes intense too, with a majority of technology giants competing for market share.

Exclusive streaming companies like Spotify Technology S.A. (SPOT) compete with Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) (GOOG) YouTube, and Inc.'s (AMZN) Prime music.

Streaming Drives Overall Growth
The streaming platforms aren't only taking a share of the market but driving overall growth.

The RIAA noted that the services grossed $8.8 billion in revenue in 2019, which is larger than the entire revenue of the music industry two years ago.

Paid subscription-based services contributed about 93% of the growth in 2019 YoY, drawing an extra $1.4 billion in revenue.

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The total revenue from music sales in 2019 was $11 billion, 13% higher than the previous year. More than 1.5 trillion songs were streamed in the U.S. in the year.

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