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2014 RIAA: Streaming revenues grew from 21% in 2013 to 27% in 2014 Full year 2014 U.S. recorded music industry wholesale revenues were up 2.0% to $4.86 billion, the fourth year in a row of growth at wholesale value.

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The U.S. recorded music industry continues to experience important changes in its revenue
composition. Full year 2014 U.S. recorded music industry wholesale revenues were up 2.0% to $4.86
billion, the fourth year in a row of growth at wholesale value. Stronger overall sales in the second half of 2014 largely erased the revenue declines that were seen at midyear. Revenues at estimated retail
value were down slightly (-0.5%) to $6.97 billion, marking the fifth straight year of relatively flat retail
revenues.

Broadly, industry revenue composition was more balanced between physical, digital download, and streaming sources in 2014 than ever before. Permanent downloads remained the largest
component at 37% of the total market by value (down from 40% in 2013). Streaming revenues grew
from 21% in 2013 to 27% in 2014. And physical shipment revenues shrank only from 35% to 32%.

The number of paid subscriptions to on-demand music services in the United States more than tripled since 2011. In 2014, paid subscriptions grew 26% year-over-year to 7.7 million. 

To $1.87 billion in 2014, and accounted for 27% of total industry revenues. This category includes
subscription services (such as Rhapsody, paid versions of Spotify, and others), streaming radio
service revenues that are distributed by SoundExchange (like Pandora, SiriusXM, and other Internet radio), and other non-subscription on demand streaming services (such as YouTube, Vevo,
free versions of Spotify, and others).

 

Broadly, industry revenue composition was more balanced between physical, digital download, and streaming sources in 2014 than ever before. Permanent downloads remained the largest component at 37% of the total market by value (down from 40% in 2013). Streaming revenues grew
from 21% in 2013 to 27% in 2014. And physical shipment revenues shrank only from 35% to 32%.

Although revenues from permanent digital downloads fell 8.7% to $2.58 billion in 2014, the growth from streaming services more than offset that decline. Total digitally distributed formats grew
3.2% to $4.51 billion, a new all-time high, and accounted for 66% of the market at retail by value
(note Synchronization excluded from this figure). Sales of digital albums declined at a slower pace than individual digital tracks, down 6.6% and 10.1% respectively (at retail value) in 2014. Digital albums accounted for 45% of the total market value of permanent downloads.

The difference between revenues from permanent digital downloads and streaming has narrowed
considerably. As streaming has grown to approach $2 billion annually, the balance between these digital markets has evened out.

While revenues from digitally distributed sources increased in 2014, physical formats, including CDs, continued to decline in both total shipment volume and value. Shipments of physical products decreased 7.1% at estimated retail value in 2014. Still by far the largest format at 82% of the physical market, CDs decreased 12.7% to $1.85 billion at retail value. In 2014, CDs comprised 27%.

Full length vinyl LPs continued their resurgence in 2014, growing 49% to $315 million. This marks the first year since 1987 that vinyl LPs were a doubledigit percentage of the physical market. Vinyl LPs were 14% of the physical market, and 4.5% of the total market at estimated retail value. The results for 2014 show that when the U.S. recorded music market is analyzed beyond the headline numbers, major changes are driving market development beneath the surface. The industry continues to rapidly grow the share of revenues coming outside of traditional unit-based sales. Unit sales accounted for more than 90% of revenues as recently as 2010, but streaming and synch revenues combined to account for 30% of total revenues in 2014. 

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