Over the years, we’ve seen how our consumption of music has changed. It used to be that we would listen to music on vinyl, which later moved to the cassette tape, and then before moving onto CDs, and then digital. These days, digital is still very much the preferred medium, but now it looks like more people are favoring streaming over downloading.
According to the latest stats by the Recording Industry Association of America, music streaming now represents a whopping 79% of music industry revenue for the US. This is versus about a decade ago where in 2009, streaming accounted for just 5% (there weren’t many options back then) and where physical dominated the landscape with 59%.
Fast forward to today, physical now only accounts for 10% while streaming makes up 79% of the revenue. Digital downloads has also taken quite a massive hit from 2009 where it was 34%, but now it is only 8%.
According to RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier, “Music isn’t transitioning to digital’ – it is leading a digital-first business. Today’s report reflects the prospect of a future in which creators have a path forward. But it also reveals how much farther we must go to assure a healthy music community in which all music is valued and creators are fairly compensated. We still have not realized the full value of music on all digital services.”