Music Revenue Surges on Streaming Subscription Growth

Paid streaming services added more than one million new subscriptions a month in first half of year

Revenue from recorded music in the U.S. rose 18% to $5.4 billion in the first half of the year, driven by growth in subscriptions to streaming services like the ones offered by Spotify Technology SA, Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

Subscribers totaled 61.1 million by the end of the first six months of 2019

Such paid streaming services added more than one million new subscriptions a month in the period. According to a report from the Recording Industry Association of America, a trade group for recorded-music companies; and subscribers totaled 61.1 million by the end of the first six months of 2019.

In 2018, the music business experienced its third consecutive year of growth in revenue from recorded music in the U.S. Streaming continued to power the industry’s recovery after years of declines.

Ariana Grande was the top-selling artist in the first half of the yea

Pop singer Ariana Grande was the top-selling artist in the first half of the year, according to Nielsen Music, with 285,000 albums sold and 2.59 billion on-demand audio streams. Hip-hop artists, however, have fared particularly well in the streaming era.  Rappers securing seven of the 10 top-streaming slots. Drake, the No. 2 selling artist overall, led the way in streaming with 2.66 billion on-demand audio streams.

Music Revenue Surges on Streaming Subscription GrowthRevenue from music streaming in the U.S., including paid subscriptions and ad-supported options, increased 26% to $4.3 billion in the period.  This represented 80% of the industry’s total revenue.

Paid subscriptions surged 31% to $3.3 billion, accounting for 62% of total industry revenue.

YouTube and Spotify’s free tier grew 25% year-over-year

Meanwhile, revenue from ad-supported on-demand streaming services like Alphabet Inc. ’s YouTube and Spotify’s free tier grew 25% year-over-year to $427 million.

 

With digital sales—which were $462 million in the first half of the year—a listener pays to download a permanent copy of a piece of music. That’s usually 99 cents to $1.29 for a song and $10 to $15 for an album. Users of streaming services pay around $10 a month to rent access to an unlimited catalog of music.  Artists get paid a fraction of a penny each time someone listens to one of their songs.

Write to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com

Music Revenue Surges on Streaming Subscription Growth
Pop singer Ariana Grande was the top-selling artist in the first half of 2019. PHOTO: CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Music Revenue Surges on Streaming Subscription Growth

Music Revenue Surges on Streaming Subscription Growth

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