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Streaming Powers Music’s Rev Surge (Again) – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Streaming Powers Music’s Rev Surge (Again)

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For the third straight year the US Music Industry enjoyed double digit revenue growth in 2018, all thanks to streaming.  According to the RIAA total US Music rev grew to $9.8B, which was up 12% over 2017.  Streaming royalties (from both subscription and ad supported tiers) grew by 30% YoY, which more than made up for declines in physical sales and digital downloads.  As you can see in the first image below, streaming rev now compromises an astounding 75% of US music sales.

It’s also notable to see how much the subscription side makes up of total streaming royalties – next image.  The per song royalty payouts from subscription-based listening is typically 2.5-3x the rate paid through SoundExchange for ad supported listening, so any growth in subscription listening has a much more significant impact on Music’s bottom line.

As usual, I’d like to point out that while the artists, labels, songwriters and publishers are enjoying healthy top-line growth year after year, the streamers themselves are still struggling to turn a profit.  Now that the music biz is so clearly dependent on streaming, you’d think they’d have an interest in keeping their cash cow as healthy as possible.


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