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RIAA FIGURES: STREAMING GROWS, SUBSCRIPTIONS PAY

A new RIAA report charts the growth of streaming as an overall portion of music revenues, and the newfound prevalence of subscription monies within that category.

The report, News and Notes on 2014 RIAA Music Industry Shipment and Revenue Statistics, tracks the comparative decline of physical and retail sales as streaming grows; the latter reached 27% in 2014, with digital downloads down to 37% and physical sales at 32%.

Perhaps most strikingly, paid subscriptions grew to 7.7 million, compared to 6.2m in 2013. $799m of the $1.87 billion in overall streaming revenue derived from subscribers (+25% year over year) and fully $773m came from SoundExchange distributions, while just $295m came from ad-supported streaming.

The latter stat provides context for the industry’s push to limit free/ad-supported streams overall and to phase out the unlimited, on-demand “freemium” model in particular, to move consumers to the paid tier.

While Spotify has been the subject of the most ink as regards free streaming, the Swedish firm has made demonstrable strides in growing its subscribers. But YouTube, which has prospered mightily from unlimited free streams, is increasingly drawing the ire of the biz. As Sony chief Doug Morris told us recently, “free is death … and the biggest culprit is YouTube.”

Streaming radio (including Pandora), meanwhile, accounted for $773m in 2014 (+31%).

You can read the entire report here.

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