The numbers are in for 2017 and the results might just surprise you. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), physical sales of music outpaced digital downloads for the first time since 2011.
Physical sales of music increased 6.5% in 2017 to total $1.5 billion, which is still down a total of 4% from 2016, but according to the RIAA "a lower rate of decline than recent years." CD (still my favorite format) sales fell 6% from 2016 to 2017 and made $1.1 billion, while vinyl rose 10% and made the industry $395 million.
Digital downloads fell 25% in 2017, which really shouldn't be a massive surprise considering Apple's iTunes is talking about making this the last full year they'll offer the format in the iTunes store. So this death has been coming and talked about long before the RIAA report.
In incredibly unsurprising news, streaming is still responsible for the majority of revenue in the music industry. Streaming made up 65% of the revenue of 2017 in the industry with 35 million subscriptions to streaming services made last year, compared to 22.7 million in 2016. The streaming industry made $5.7 billion in 2017, as opposed to $4 billion in 2016.
Check out the full report here.