The Recording Industry Association of America has released a PDF on their website that details all sorts of stats and charts detailing the state of the recording industry within the USA. The RIAA is the trade group for those in the US recording industry. The report was compiled by Joshua P. Friedlander and it was titled News and Notes on 2014 RIAA Music Industry Shipment and Revenue Statistics.
The RIAA’s report says that 37% of recording revenues came through digital downloads. 27% of the recording revenues came through popular cloud streaming services. Physical media such as CDs and vinyl made up 32% of revenue while the synchronization medium rounded out the final 3% of the report’s findings. The RIAA notes that the number of paid on-demand music subscriptions has risen more than 300% since 2011.
The RIAA goes on to break down the details of paid subscriptions to music streaming services by showing a graph that represents the steady year over year growth of the sector. In 2011, the RIAA only reported 1.8m users who paid for music streaming subscriptions. In 2014, the RIAA reported 7.7 million paid subscriptions. Sales of streaming revenues have risen 29% since last year, notes the report.
The RIAA’s numbers indicate a strong demand of cloud streaming services such as Pandora, Rhapsody and others. Depending at how you look at the numbers on the report, you can make an argument that cloud streaming is poised to over take physical media sales. In some verticals, it already has. For example, streaming music revenues for 2014 constituted $1.87B. Compare that with the sales of compact discs, which only brought in $1.85B.
The slight overtake in revenue numbers combined the rapid ascension of music streaming services could indicate a new era in the way we listen, recommend and purchase our music.