US recorded music revenues from paid subscriptions exceeded $10bn annually for the first time in 2022

MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a single data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution, and rights management company.

The US recorded music industry generated USD $15.9 billion in 2022.

That’s the headline stat from the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) 2022 Year End report, which, published today (March 9), shows that on a retail basis, recorded music revenues in the US (money spent on streaming subscriptions, as well as physical and digital music), grew 6.1% YoY, the market’s seventh consecutive year of growth.

Streaming (including paid subscriptions, ad-supported services, digital and customized radio, social media platforms, digital fitness apps and others) generated the lion’s share of that overall revenue tally.

Streaming grew 7.3% to a record high $13.3 billion in revenue and collectively accounts for 84% of total recorded music revenues in the US, up slightly from 83% in 2021

On a wholesale basis – i.e. the money that makes its way back to record labels, distributors and ultimately artists – the US recorded music industry generated $10.3 billion in 2022 (see above).

According to the RIAA data, that was up by 5% and marked the first time that wholesale revenues exceeded $10 billion in the market.

Breaking down RIAA’s data reveals that retail revenues from paid subscription services including the likes of Spotify Premium and Apple Music grew 8% to $10.2 billion in 2022, exceeding the $10 billion mark annually for the first time.

Paid subscription revenues accounted for 77% of total streaming revenues, and nearly two-thirds of total revenues.

Included within that $10.2 billion figure are revenues from limited tier subscriptions (services limited by factors such as mobile access, catalog availability, product features, or device restrictions), which grew 18% to $1.1 billion.

The RIAA notes that services like Amazon Prime, Pandora Plus, music licenses for streaming fitness services, and other subscriptions are included in this category.

The average number of paid subscriptions to on-demand music services for the year grew 10% to 92 million, compared with an average of 84 million for 2021. (These figures exclude limited-tier services, and count multi-user plans as a single subscription.)

Digging deeper into RIAA’s data reveals that music revenues from advertising-supported on-demand streaming (via services like YouTube, the ad-supported version of Spotify, Facebook, and others) grew by just 5.5% to $1.8 billion.

Ad-supported services contributed 11% of total 2022 recorded music revenues.

Revenues from physical music formats reached $1.7 billion in 2022, up 4% versus the prior year.

Revenues from vinyl records grew 17.2% to $1.2 billion – marking the format’s 16th consecutive year of growth. Vinyl accounted for 71% of physical format revenues.

Additionally, for the first time since 1987, vinyl albums outsold CDs in units (41 million vs 33 million). After a 2021 rebound versus the Covid impacted 2020, revenues from CDs fell 17.6% to $483 million in 2022

Elsewhere, digital and customized radio music revenues grew 2% to $1.2 billion in 2022.

RIAA notes that this category includes SoundExchange distributions for revenues from services like SiriusXM and internet radio stations, as well as payments directly paid by similar services, included in the report as “other ad-supported streaming”.

SoundExchange distributions fell 3.3% to $959 million in 2022, while other ad-supported streaming revenues of $261 million were up 28%.

RIAA Chairman & CEO Mitch Glazier, said that “2022 was an impressive year of sustained ‘growth-over-growth’ more than a decade after streaming’s explosion onto the music scene.”

“2022 was an impressive year of sustained ‘growth-over-growth’ more than a decade after streaming’s explosion onto the music scene.”

Mitch Glazier, RIAA 

Added Glazier: “Continuing that long run, subscription streaming revenues now make up two thirds of the market with a robust record high $13.3 billion.

“This long and ongoing arc of success has only been possible thanks to the determined and creative work of record companies fighting to build a healthy streaming economy where artists and rightsholders get paid wherever and whenever their work is used.”

Cinq Music Group’s repertoire has won Grammy awards, dozens of Gold and Platinum RIAA certifications, and numerous No.1 chart positions on a variety of Billboard charts. Its repertoire includes heavyweights such as Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, T.I., Sean Kingston, Anuel, and hundreds more.Music Business Worldwide

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