Recorded Music Business Grew 8.1% In First Half Of 2016 Driven By Spotify, Apple Music

Arrows upAfter a decade of decline, the U.S. recorded music business is growing for the second year in a row, according to the RIAA. Driving the trend is the revenue source that the music business loves to hate - streaming, and in particular Spotify and Apple.

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Retail spending in U.S. recorded music business grew 8.1% to $3.4 billion in the first half of 2016, according to new stats from the RIAA. That marks the second consecutive year of growth, after more than a decade of decline; and the first back to back growth years since 1998-1999.

In the mid to late 1990's, recorded music sales revenue peaked at $7 billion yearly. 

RIAA 2016

Driving the new growth are Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and their competitors.

Streaming revenue in the U.S. was up 57% to $1.6 billion in the same 6 months, accounting for almost half of total industry sales revenues. Paid streaming subscriptions totaled $1.01 billion, according to the RIAA. Ad sales on free on-demand streamers grew 24 % to $195 million in the last 6 months.

The numbers should rise again in the next 6 -12 months as Amazon and Pandora introduce new streaming services.

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