Sep 19, 2023 2 min read

Premium streaming and vinyl continue to power growth in US recorded music market

The RIAA has published stats for the US recorded music market in the first half of 2023 - retail revenues grew 9.3% to $8.4 billion, in no small part powered by ongoing growth in premium streaming and vinyl

Premium streaming and vinyl continue to power growth in US recorded music market

Revenues from the sale of CDs and vinyl in the US were up 5% in the first half of this year, meaning that physical product sales were at their highest level since 2013.

However, it was really the ongoing streaming boom that resulted in US recorded music retail revenues at large growing 9.3% to $8.4 billion between January and June this year, with streaming accounting for 84% of total income. Wholesale revenues - so the monies that flow from the digital platforms and retailers to the record industry - grew 8.3% to $5.3 billion.

This is according to the latest stats pack published by the Recording Industry Association Of America. The trade group's CEO Mitch Glazier says: “This report describes a thriving, growing music ecosystem that continues to reach new heights and shape our culture”.

“And”, he adds, “it reflects the creative human genius and hard work of all the artists, songwriters, labels, publishers and services who make the music happen, and meet fans and audiences where they are in today's forward-looking and innovative music community".

More than 75% of streaming revenues - and nearly two thirds of total recorded music revenues - come from premium streaming services. The RIAA reports that in the first half of this year "total revenue from paid subscription services grew 11% to $5.5 billion, compared with 6% growth for the number of accounts".

Given subscriber growth is slowing, it's important for the industry that the average revenue generated by each paying user increases, which is why the recent price increases at the streaming services have been so widely welcomed.

As for ad-supported streaming - both the free tiers of Spotify et al and the user-generated content platforms - revenues from these services "grew at a slower rate than paid forms of streaming ... up just 1% to $870 million. This follows a more volatile period when the effects of COVID-19 stalled growth in 2020 before rebounding in 2021 and 2022".

Physical products account for 11% of total recorded music revenues, though vinyl now dominates in that domain, accounting for 72% of this income. The RIAA notes that "revenues from vinyl records grew 1% to $632 million and ... for the third consecutive year, vinyl albums [also] outsold CDs in units - 23 million vs 15 million".

You can download the full RIAA stats pack here.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to CMU.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.
Privacy Policy