Earlier this year, we learnt that album unit sales in the US were down 11% in 2014. Now the RIAA has revealed that, financially, things weren’t as bad as first first: the retail value of the industry was down just 0.5% in the year – mainly thanks to streaming.
According to new RIAA stats, the retail value of the US industry fell under $7bn in the year, to $6.97bn. Although essentially flat, that’s less than half the pre-Napster industry high of $14.6 billion in 1999.
Interestingly, streaming income, which rose 3.2% to $1.87bn, overtook CD income for the first time – which fell 12.7% to $1.85bn.
Paid subscription was up 25% to $799.1m, while ad-supported ‘freemium’ revenues – including YouTube – increased 34% to $294.8m.
SoundExchange collections from streaming personalised radio services such as Sirius XM and Pandora, were up 31% to $773.4m.
The dominant format in the US continues to be downloads. In 2014, combined downloads of singles and albums took around $2.6 billion, down 8.5% on 2013.
Vinyl albums shot up 49.4% to $314.9m