Streaming services from companies like Spotify, Apple and Amazon have helped to fuel an increase in sales and profitability for the music industry. Music sales grew over 13 percent in 2019 to reach $11.1 billion, which is the highest in more than a decade, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Overall, streaming accounted for 80 percent of the industry’s overall revenue in 2019, which marked the industry’s fourth year in a row of growth. Total streaming revenue reached $8.8 billion last year, coming from subscription services, ads on platforms like YouTube and Vevo, and services like Pandora and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Revenue from subscriptions to streaming services was up 25 percent to $6.8 billion, and those services added over one million new people each month last year.
Ad-supported services like YouTube and Spotify’s free option saw revenue growth of 20 percent YOY to reach $908 million. In the U.S., people streamed over 1.5 trillion songs in 2019.
The massive growth began in 2016, when streaming services caught up to a 15-year drop in sales from compact discs. However, despite the healthy sales environment, the music industry is still 75 percent off its peak of $14.6 billion in 1999.
Vinyl records continue to be a bright spot when it comes to physical sales, as they were up 19 percent. Those numbers helped to offset a 12 percent decline in CD sales, and physical products as a whole fell under 1 percent.
Sales of digital downloads, which once helped to buoy the physical sales crash, have also gone down 18 percent, to $856 million.