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September 22, 2015 | Music Notes Blog

Deep Dive: RIAA's Mid-Year Revenue Data

Recently, the RIAA published 2015 mid-year revenue and shipment data for the United States music industry. The report outlines the overall state of the market for the first half of the year, with revenue data that isn’t available anywhere else. But there’s always more digging that can be done through the data, and we think it’s worthwhile to highlight some important takeaways:
– Streaming music revenues were more than one billion dollars. That marks the second straight six month period in which they reached that threshold. And each streaming category that we collect (paid subscriptions, ad-supported on-demand services, and SoundExchange distributions) reached all-time highs for the first half of a year.
– The value of paid subscriptions grew 25% to $478 million. While the number of paid subscriptions grew more slowly, to an average of 8.1 million for the first half of 2015, the value of those subscriptions grew strongly. For the first half of 2014, the average price of a subscription (annualized) was $97 per year. In the first half of 2015 that average increased to $118 per subscription. Based on preliminary reports, the launch of Apple Music (which only occurred on June 30th, the last day of the mid-year reporting period) should provide an additional driver for paid subscriptions in the second half of the year.
– The resurgence in sales of vinyl records continues. Shipments increased 52% to $222 million for 1H 2015. While that’s still only 7% of the overall market by value, it’s remarkable that a legacy format continues to contribute more to industry revenues than the ad-supported on-demand category, which includes some of the most widely used new services such as YouTube and Vevo.

Joshua Friedlander
Sr. VP Strategic Data Analysis, RIAA