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Streaming music revenue surpasses CD sales for first time

Posted by on March 23, 2015

We knew this was coming for a while now, but in 2014, streaming services made more money than compact disc sales in the United States. This is the first time that’s happened, with CD sales raking in $1.85 billion as compared to streaming services’ $1.87 billion, according to report from the RIAA. Again, given that streaming services grew 29% last year alone as CD sales continue their decline , this isn’t a massive surprise. Streaming services include not just Spotify, Pandora and the like, but also YouTube and Vevo.

Perhaps more surprising, however, is that physical formats as a whole trumped streaming services financially, with 32$ of the industry’s revenue as opposed to streaming services’ 25%. The biggest money-earner, however, is still digital downloads, making 37% of  of all the revenue in the music industry. Digital downloads are slowing, however. And while streaming looks to continue to grow, that’s a bit of an issue in that streaming services aren’t really paying artists that well. If the co-writer of the most streamed song in Spotify history only makes about $4,000 for it, something’s wrong.

[via The Verge]

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Categorised in: Music Biz, News