U.S recording industry revenues grew 12% during 2018, hitting $9.8 billion, thanks to paid music subscription services like Apple Music, Spotify Premium, and others, says the Recording Industry Association of America.
Paid subscriptions for the first time represented over half of all revenues, rising 32 percent to $5.4 billion, the RIAA said in an annual report (PDF link. That figure includes “limited tier” subscriptions with restrictions, such as Pandora Plus. Excluding limited tiers, the average number of active paid subscriptions reached 50.2 million.
Streaming accounted for 75% of recording industry revenue ($7.4 billion). Download services like iTunes made up a mere 11% of revenue, surprisingly falling in behind physical record sales, which grabbed 12% of the overall revenue.
Ad-supported services like the free version of Spotify advanced saw revenues grow 15% to $760 million. Digital and customized radio revenues saw revenues jump by 32% to $1.2 billion.