Apple Music and other paid subscription are now the biggest source of revenue in a growing music industry, with streaming alone encompassing 75 percent of money earned, far beyond any other contributor.
According to the 2018 Mid Year Music revenue reports released this week by RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) the U.S. music industry saw an increase in overall revenue. Those revenues rose to $4.6 billion in the first half of the year up from $4.2 billion the same time in 2017.
Three quarters of the industry’s revenue in the first half of 2018 came from streaming compared to digital downloads at 12 percent and physical sales falling to 10 percent. Streaming revenues grew to $3.4 billion in the first six months of the year, a 28% jump over from 2017.
RIAA said $2.55 billion came from paid subscriptions to Apple Music, spotify, tidal and others. The $2.55 billion figure is an increase from $1.9 billion in the first half of 2017 and $1.1 billion the first half of 2016.
Apple Music reportedly overtook spotify as the top subscription streaming music services in the U.S. in July.
In the full year of 2017, streaming contributed 65% of the industry’s revenue, RIAA said earlier this year.
“Finding an audience amongst an extraordinary range of music choices, competing for the user’s attention against other entertainment options on the ubiquitous smartphone, and being prominent on dozens of digital platforms is not only critical for success, those are attributes that uniquely reside within today’s record company.