Retail sales of recorded music continue to benefit from streaming and legacy packaged media. New data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reports the industry hit new revenue milestones in the first six months of the year after a decade of evolving consumer access to recorded content.
The RIAA said total revenue grew 9.3% at estimated retail value and marked an all-time first half high of $8.4 billion as paid subscriptions remained the strongest driver, accounting for 78% of streaming revenue.
Streaming remains the dominant form of music consumption in the U.S., responsible for 84% of total recorded music revenue and growing 10.3% to $7 billion. Paid subscriptions grew even faster, topping 11% growth over the first half of this year. Over the past five years, the number of people paying for music subscriptions has more than doubled.
At the same time, old-school physical reached their highest revenue level since the first half of 2013 with total sales up 5% over 2022 at $882 million. Vinyl maintains its popularity, reaching $632 million for the first half of 2023 and accounting for 72% of all physical music sales.
“This report describes a thriving, growing music ecosystem that continues to reach new heights and shape our culture,” Mitch Glazier, CEO of RIAA, said in a statement.