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“In 2013, strong growth in streaming revenues contributed to a U.S. music industry that was stable overall at $7 billion for
the fourth
consecutive year."
——RIAA's Joshua Friedlander
STREAMING BREAKS $1 BILLION
Two Reports on the 2013 Music Biz Reinforce
the Theory That Streaming Is the Future

Hopes that streaming would be the salvation of the long-struggling music business were boosted today by the RIAA’s report of 2013 U.S. sales and revenue, and the IFPI’s Digital Music Report covering the same period.

The good news from the RIAA is that streaming, which continues to be the fastest-growing segment of the recorded-music industry—providing sufficient revenues to maintain stability if not yet contribute to growth—blew past $1 billion in earnings last year.

The report reveals that streaming has represented a continually escalating percentage of total revenue since 2007 and has accelerated since 2011, when streaming revenue accounted for 9% of total revenue. A year later it was 15%, and last year it contributed 21% of overall recorded-music earnings, or $1.4 billion in 2013, a 39% gain since 2012.

Paid subscriptions were up 57% year-over-year to 6.1 million, while revenue to labels and artists from subscription payments amounted to $628 million, a 57% uptick. Meanwhile, royalty payments from ad-supported free listening grew 29% to $220 million. Additionally, SoundExchange distributed a $590 million in 2013.

"In 2013, strong growth in streaming revenues contributed to a U.S. music industry that was stable overall at $7 billion for the fourth consecutive year," RIAA analyst Joshua P. Friedlander stated with glass-half-full positivity.

According to the IFPI report, revenues from subscription and streaming services increased by 51% in 2013 worldwide, also breaking $1 billion for the first time. Streaming now accounts for 27% of global digital revenues, with more than 28 million paid subscribers, an 8 million increase from 2012.

Let's briefly put that $1 billion in perspective, shall we? A billion sounds even bigger when you call it a thousand millions, but much smaller when you realize it represents just a fraction of Len Blavatnik's fortune. So there you go. Now, if you'll excuse us, we've gotta finish filling out our Warren Buffett Biillion-Dollar Bracket.


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