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March 25, 2015 | Music Notes Blog

More Perspective On Our 2014 Revenue and Shipment Numbers

A few notes on our recently-released revenue and shipment data on the U.S. music business.

Last week, we released our revenue and shipment data on the U.S. music business. We’re pleased to see this data so widely cited in news reports, analyst commentary, and other research on the industry. As we said at the time, we believe that our data is the most authoritative metric reflecting the state of the music business. After taking a moment to digest and sift through the extensive commentary, a few additional takeaways occur to us:

  • Much attention has been paid to the 29% growth in streaming music revenues. What does 29% growth mean? That’s $418 million dollars more in 2014 than the prior year from those services – the equivalent of 6% of the total U.S. annual industry revenues.
  • Diversification is good. The split between revenues from digital, streaming, and physical formats have never been more balanced. This reflects healthy adaptation of the industry to the multiple ways fans want to engage with music.
  • This is not yesterday’s music industry. While it’s true revenues from music are not as high as they once were, overall the industry is now in a more healthy and stable place than it was a few years ago. Positive steps have reduced (but not eliminated) the harm from piracy, and recurring revenue streams are building a healthy base from which to grow. There’s a vibrant, competitive marketplace with numerous different options for fans.

Joshua Friedlander
Sr. VP Strategic Data Analysis, RIAA