• RIAA: U.S. Recorded Music Revenues Hit $7.7B In First Half Of 2022

    by Roy Trakin
    September 22, 2022 at 1:20 AM (PT)
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    Music Revenue Rising, But Half As Fast

    The U.S. recorded music industry hit $7.7 billion for the first half of 2022, but its growth slowed by half compared to a similar period last year, according to statistics published by the RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA's Mid-Year Music Industry Revenue Report. 

    Retail revenues in the U.S. grew $700 million year over year in the first half of this year (up from $7 billion in H1 2021). Back in the first half of 2021, revenues grew by $1.4 billion year over year.

    Wholesale revenue hit $4.9 billion in H1 2022, up $300 million year over year; in H1 2021, the equivalent figure ($4.6bn) was up by $600 million year over year, another 50% drop.

    Streaming growth was the culprit, though paid subscription services, ad-supported services, digital and customized radio streaming grew 10%, from $5.9 billion in H1 2021 to $6.5 billion in the first half of 2022, representing a growth of $600 million, compared bo the previous year, when revenue grew by $1.2 billion year over year to $5.9 billion.

    Streaming Music’s share of total industry retail revenues was virtually flat in H1 2022, at 84%. Paid subscriptions were the largest driver of music revenues in H1 2022, growing 10% YoY to $5.0 billion, including $525 million in revenues from “Limited Tier” paid subscriptions (for services limited by factors such as mobile access, catalog availability, on-demand limitations, or device restrictions). Services like AMAZON PRIME, PANDORA PLUS, music licenses for digital fitness apps, and other subscriptions are included in this category.

    The average number of paid subscriptions to on-demand music streaming services in H1 2022 reached a record 90 million, up 10% compared with 82 million for H1 2021. (These figures count multi-user plans as a single subscription, and exclude limited-tier services.)

    Ad-supported on-demand streaming music revenues (from services like YOUTUBE, SPOTIFY's ad-supported tier, FACEBOOK and TIKTOK) grew 16% year over year by revenue in H1 2022 to $871 million.

    "This growth comes on top of the strong rebound the category experienced in 2021 relative to the Covid-19 impacted comparison period the year before that," according to the RIAA. “after remarkable growth in 2021 compared with a Covid-19 shutdown impacted previous year," vinyl records continued to rise in H1 2022.

    Revenues from vinyl albums grew 22% to $570 million, and vinyl’s share of the physical market increased from 68% to 73%.

    Revenues from CDs fell 2% to $200 million, and accounted for 26% of physical revenues.

    Commenting on the report, RIAA CEO MITCH GLAZIER said, “The results reflect the incredible creative and commercial partnerships artists and labels have forged that have powered another extremely successful half year. Streaming revenues from paid subscriptions, ad-supported services, and other formats grew 10% to $6.5 billion during this period.

    “And the number of paid subscriptions topped 90 million for the first time," he continued. "Streaming’s long run of success reflects the strength of the modern music economy and the value consumers have found in music subscriptions as well as labels’ tireless work developing additional sources and streams of revenue including ad-supported options on short form video and social media platforms as well as fitness apps and video and soundtrack placement.

    “Today’s report is good news for artists, songwriters, streaming services, and fans — everyone with a stake in music’s future. We truly are seeing the power of recorded music’s rising tide to lift all boats across the music family.

    “We are proud of the creative and commercial accomplishments reflected in the strong results reported today. But to achieve true success, we must go beyond the balance sheet and work to advance fundamental music community values.”

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