A decade in music: Streaming consumption jumps from 7% to 80%, RIAA says

Posted: 3:06 PM, Dec 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-31 15:08:40-05
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The last decade was one of seismic change for the music industry — an industry that was turned on its head in the late 1990s and early 2000s in part by music sharing software like Napster and the introduction of the iPod.

In fact, in the 2010s, years of plummeting revenues for the music industry saw some respite, with what some called the dawn of a new "Golden Age" for the music business.

The main headline from the last decade in music comes from the meteoric rise of streaming, undoubtedly part of the reason for rising revenues.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, streaming accounted for just 7% of U.S. market music consumption in 2010. By the first half of 2019, streaming represented 80% of music consumption in the U.S.

Streaming growth came at the expense of digital downloads and physical album sales (think CDs).

And similar streaming numbers prove consumers are willing to pay for premium services.

An average of 1.5 million people were paid subscribers to a music streaming service in 2010. That number grew to 61.1 million in the first half of 2019, the RIAA said.

Another change in music consumption came from a sort of vinyl revival.

Revenue generated from vinyl sales grew by more than $400 million between 2010 and 2018, according to the RIAA.

As for the biggest albums? Adele snags both the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the list, followed by a handful of Taylor Swift albums, Drake albums, a Bruno Mars album and the soundtrack from Broadway sensation "Hamilton."