Another year is in the books, and streaming is once again revealing itself to be the future of the industry. Out of the 11.4% increase in recorded music sales in 2016, streaming accounted for more than half of overall sales.
Within the realm of streaming, subscription services dominated (generating $2.26 billion out of the $3.93 billion total revenue). The amount of paid music subscriptions in the U.S. doubled from last year, increasing from 10.8 million to 22.6 million. Each individual stream is worth more than ever before, with the average per-stream royalty increasing from $0.00517 to $0.0072. Streaming as a whole brought in more revenue than downloads, CDs and vinyl combined (which only brought in about $3.51 billion).
Speaking of vinyl, although sales grew 1.8% from 2015, the growth is slowing down significantly (from its average of 38% in years prior). Though it experienced a vast resurgence in recent years, the trend may be dying out as other forms of music media (such as previously mentioned subscription services) take over.
Just five years ago, streaming accounted for less than 10 percent of industry revenue, but now seems to be driving industry growth, contributing to the first double-digit increase (11.4%) since 1998. This just once again confirms that the music industry is not dying out, but rather adapting to changes in technology. Who knows what future advancements will bring to the industry.