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Pump up the volume! The recorded music business is singing a new tune

Mike Cherico

The recorded music business is dying, right?

Not really... revenues for the industry are up 18% to $5.4 billion even though album sales seem to be a thing of the past. What's behind the move?

The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) released a report yesterday showing that thanks to robust growth in streaming music subscriptions, total music revenues grew in the first half of 2019. This is on-trend for the industry which has seen double-digit growth in the U.S. recorded music market since 2018 according to the report.

Credit the increasing popularity of streaming music services like Apple Music, Spotify and Sirius XM Pandora. “The number of paid subscriptions (is) exceeding 60 million for the first time,” explained the report,  “Streaming music accounted for 80% percent of industry revenues." ”

The RIAA believes the best is yet to come. “Our mid-year report tells a great story, but we’re still in the early chapters, with exciting opportunities – and even greater responsibilities," Brendan Daly, Chief Communications Officer exclusively told FOX Business. "More than 60 million paid music subscriptions illustrate fans’ unrivaled love for music and the way it shapes our identities and culture, and showcases an industry that has embraced the future and found a healthy path forward in the digital economy.”

“It’s great news for the music business and for the U.S. economy overall,” declared Mitch Glazier, Chairman and CEO, RIAA on website Medium, “the streaming economy continues to accelerate, strengthen, and mature.”

According to Glazer and the RIAA paid streaming services added more than one million new subscriptions a month. Streaming, said Glazer,  "has fundamentally reshaped how fans find, share, and listen to the songs and artists they love.”

All of this growth in the recorded music actually helps the overall economy. Glazer stated "music contributes $143 billion to the nation’s GDP every year, supporting more than 157,000 music-related businesses and nearly two million jobs."


And the second half of the year could be time to turn up the music and dance. If the US market grows by the same percentage margin as it did in this RIAA report over the next year, it will be generating more than  $1 billion every month from recorded music in the first half of 2020

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