Fully [H]
Apr 10, 2003
RIAA market research has compiled a revenue report for the music industry in the first half of 2018. Some of the more interesting statistics include revenue from streaming music climbing 28% year over year (YOY) to $3.4 billion for the first half of 2018. Streaming music now accounts for 75% of the U.S. music industry revenue! This number includes revenue from paid subscriptions like Tidal, digital radio stations like Pandora, and ad-supported streaming services like YouTube and Spotify.

Paid subscriptions not only grew to $2.5 billion, but they now account for over 75% of the streaming music revenue as consumers now find more value in paid subscriptions. The paid subscription sector grew 48% to 46.4 million subscribers in the first half of 2018. Overall total revenue in the industry as a whole grew 10% to $4.6 billion in the first half of 2018.

Despite far few users, subscription streaming vastly out performed ad-supported revenues. Shipments of physical products decreased 25% to $462 million in 1H 2018, a higher rate of decline than in recent years. Revenues from CDs fell by 41% in the first half of the year, more than offsetting a 13% increase in revenues from sales of vinyl albums. Revenues from shipments of physical products made up 10% of the industry total in 1H 2018.
So, streaming is growing and digital downloads and physical media are in freefall.

Not unexpected.

Does anyone know what that 3% attributable to "Synchronization Royalties" is? Are those the fees that radio stations pay for broadcasting songs?
The problem with streaming services is when bands do one off tracks for compilation albums. Ran into this earlier this week with Rancid’s Brad Logan which is owned by SME and the only way I can listen is to have the South Park:Chef Aid album.

I would pay more for one that has basically the entire catalogue of my preferred music.
No one buying full albums is going to lead to bad things. I wonder what the telemetry on established bands calling it quits is looking like?

Good bands can make albums full of good music instead of coasting by on one single, so there are upsides as well. It's not clear exactly what those numbers refer to either. If I buy 8 songs off an album with 10 songs I assume that counts as 8 "single" sales?

The real problem for the actual artists when it comes to selling music is the same problem there has always been though and that is record labels/middlemen taking all of their money. Piracy is an issue too of course but that's hardly a new phenomenon at this point. If you actually want to support bands buy concert tickets and merch. They still only get a cut of that too, but at least it tends to be a much larger percentage (arguably BECAUSE the RIAA/recording industry isn't involved)

any nice chart on live performances ( Las Vegas matinees, regional tours) ?

I don't know exact details but the information I've been able to find shows a huge increase in live music ticket sales over the last 15-20 years (since the internet became prevalent) but it seems to be more because of increased ticket prices than increased attendance. For the artists themselves the deals they have usually depend on how popular they are too. A big band will usually get paid a guaranteed amount for a whole tour or certain number of concerts. Smaller bands it's usually more dependent on ticket sales.
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Streaming music is a lot easier. I remember owning lots of cassette tapes when I was younger. (Had some vinyl, but never much). Later, I bought a lot of CD's. I thought I had it made when I bought a 10 disc changer in my 20's. At some point, I ripped most of my CD's to digital format.
Nowadays, I just stream it. I have my CD's boxed up but really don't care about them anymore. They are bulky and a pain in the ass. MP3/digital downloads? No thanks, something else to manager.
It's kind of like Steam (well, sort of). I used to buy my software and keep the media/boxes. Steam came out. Hell, when was the last time I bought a physical game? Been years. I know they've tried stream "subscription" services for games, but lag and limited selection have held them back so far.
So, streaming is growing and digital downloads and physical media are in freefall.

Not unexpected.

Does anyone know what that 3% attributable to "Synchronization Royalties" is? Are those the fees that radio stations pay for broadcasting songs?

It's for Ads, TV and Film use. It's usually a better deal for songwriters and performers than other royalty revenue - assuming the placement agent isn't taking a 60% cut.
"I can no longer make a fortune doing the hobby I love. I guess I'll stop doing it and get an office job."
-no musician ever

In this day and age, its not album sales that matter anyway- its tour revenue. that is where they make their money and they dont even get to do that until they can navigate through the entirely predatory nature of the record labels where nearly every single dollar of sales goes to.