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Streaming Music Revenue in 2016 Was Greater Than Downloads, CD & Vinyl Sales Combined

Streaming brought in $3.9 billion overall last year. Holy crap.

Streaming brought in $3.9 billion overall last year. Holy crap.

Despite the bad reputation that streaming services might get from some artists, the music industry is clearly benefitting from the medium. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reports that the music industry generated $7.7 billion in retail throughout 2016. This number is 11% higher than retail sales in 2015, and is the industry's highest sales figure since 2009. Even more, the 11% is the highest percentage gains the industry has seen since 1998!

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The New York Times reports that streaming music had a lot to do with this figure, and contributed a whopping $3.9 billion to that overall $7.7 billion. That $3.9 billion is up 69% over 2015's sales numbers, and now makes up 51% of the entire music business's revenue. This is the first time streaming has ever become the majority of sales within the industry in the United States.

I guess we should've seen this coming, considering in 2015 streaming music surpassed the sales of physical format of music. So it was really only a matter of time before it eclipsed pretty much everything, right?


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