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RECORDED MUSIC RAKED IN $15B IN '21: RIAA REPORT

The RIAA is downright giddy over its 2021 year-end revenue report. There’s growth in almost every recorded music format—yes, even CDs—as overall revenues hit $15b, a 23% spike.

On a wholesale level, revenues were up 22% over 2020, to $9.8b.

Streaming revenues were up 24% to $12.4b, partially owing to the inclusion of TikTok for the first time; paid subscriptions brought in $9.5b, a 23% rise; and physical products were up 61% to $1.66b, with vinyl representing a billion dollars of that total.

“The incredible run of strong, industry-wide growth documented in this and prior reports speaks to the dynamic and vibrant creative and commercial relationships today’s labels have built with their artist partners,” said RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier (pictured).

“Labels haven’t simply reinvented themselves; they've helped transform the entire process of music creation, discovery and distribution to bolster creative freedom and artistic expression while seamlessly meeting fans everywhere and anywhere they want to be. The result has been an incredibly vibrant period delivering new opportunities, platforms and experiences—from music-powered fitness apps to gaming-platform livestream concerts to must-have vinyl exclusives to global surprise digital-album drops. Creative genius unleashed in new ways driving shared commercial success and record payments to artists.

“No industry in history has embraced changing technologies and innovations faster than music over the last ten years—taking streaming from novelty to ubiquitous in the blink of an eye and now working to drive a new generation of social apps, shared immersive experiences and blockchain/NFT opportunities into the future.”

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