Paid Music Subscriptions Continue Steady Ascent in H1 2022

October 14, 2022

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Industries | Media & Entertainment

Paid music subscriptions in the US have grown once more during the first half of 2022. New data [pdf] released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reveals that paid music streaming services added another 8 million subscriptions year-over-year to reach a new high of 90 million.

Paid music subscriptions in the US have more than doubled since the first half of 2018, when the number of subscriptions totaled 43.7 million. Moreover, the 8 million new subscriptions in the first half of this year represent an almost-double-digit (9.75%) year-over-year increase, only slightly trailing the 13% growth registered in H1 2021.

US Recorded Music Revenues Are Largely Streaming Revenues

In H1, streaming accounted for a full 84% of all US recorded music revenues, on par with its share of total revenues a year ago. Physical (10%), digital downloads (3%) and synchronization royalties (2%) made up the remaining share of music industry revenues for the first half of 2022.

Of the $6.5 billion in revenue brought in by streaming music in H1, 78% came from paid subscriptions, with these revenues growing by 10% year-over-year (y-o-y) to $5.0 billion.

Once again during the first half of this year, paid streaming subscriptions accounted for almost two-thirds (65%) of total recorded music revenues, which increased by 9% to $7.7 billion.

RIAA’s data also shows that ad-supported, on-demand music revenues saw a notable lift in H1 of 16%, outpacing paid subscription revenue growth and total industry growth while reaching $871 million. Recent data indicates that advertisers will be upping their spending on ad-supported music streaming, while a forecast from PwC calls for digital music streaming ad revenue to see solid growth in the coming years, with a 2021-2026 projected CAGR of 10%.

Digital Download Revenues Fall Again

Accounting for a fractional 3% of total recorded music revenues in H1 2022, digital downloads in the US continue to decline. Revenues from digital downloads stood at $256 million, down from $317 million in H1 2021 and $340 million in H1 2020. This decrease is due to declines in the sale of both individual tracks (-19% y-o-y) and albums (-20% y-o-y).

Vinyl Still Going Strong

It was another strong period for vinyl sales, though, which consolidated “remarkable” growth in 2021 to expand by another 22% year-over-year, up to $570 million. Vinyl’s share of the physical market has grown to 73%, while CDs’ share shrunk to 26% on the back of a 2% decrease in sales.

For more, check out the study here.

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