The business of streaming is only getting bigger.
A report released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a vocal music industry group, claims streaming music revenue in the U.S. surpassed revenue from downloads for the first time. The milestone was shared in the RIAA’s 2015 year-end sales report, as the Wrap notes, and marks the industry’s fifth year of consecutive revenue growth.
Broadly, streaming music is making the industry a ton of money, and nearly one-third of all streaming revenue appears to come from the sort of ad-supported models often criticized by some music industry professionals. But not everyone benefits from the streaming boom. Major corporations and indie musicians alike have challenged the efficacy of streaming, although others have championed it.
The RIAA says streaming — counting subscriptions and ad-based services — made up 34.3 percent of the U.S. music industry’s recorded revenue last year, followed by downloads, at a close 34 percent, and physical music revenues (e.g: CDs, vinyl) at 28.8 percent.