U.S. Recorded Music Revenue Scores All-Time High of $15.9 Billion in 2022, Per RIAA Report

The U.S. recorded-music industry reached an all-time high of $15.9 billion in 2022, marking the industry’s seventh consecutive year of growth. While overall streaming growth has been leveling off in recent years, with 92 million paid U.S. subscriptions, it’s clearly continuing to grow and fuel the market while the steady resurgence of vinyl continues.

Collectively accounting for 84% of total revenues, streaming continued to be the largest driver with paid subscriptions, ad-supported services, digital and customized radio, social media platforms, digital fitness apps and others, according to the report. Paid subscriptions were up 7% to a record high revenue of $13.3 billion. Revenues grew 8% to $10.2 billion, passing the $10 billion mark for the first time.

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The number of paid subscriptions to on-demand music services continued to grow at double digit rates in 2022. The average number of subscriptions for the year grew 10% to 92 million, compared with an average of 84 million for 2021, according to the report. (These figures exclude limited-tier services, and count multi-user plans as a single subscription.)

Music revenues from advertising supported on-demand services (such as YouTube, the ad-supported version of Spotify, Facebook, and others) grew at a slower pace than previous recent years, up 6% to $1.8 billion. Digital and customized radio music (such as SiriusXM) revenues saw their growth slow even more, to just 2% to $1.2 billion in 2022. SoundExchange distributions fell 3% to $959 million. Digital download revenue was down a whopping 20% to $495 million.

Revenues from physical music formats also maintained an upward trajectory, although at a slower pace, up 4% at $1.7 billion. However, the pandemic played major role in the 2021 growth of 17%, as record stores reopened after many months of lockdown.

However, revenues from vinyl grew 17% to $1.2 billion – the sixteenth consecutive year of growth – and accounted for 71% of physical format revenues. 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 18% to $483 million in 2022.

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

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