Streaming streamlines pathway to growth


Music isn’t dead, according to new market research done on the music industry.

For the first time in 20 years, the music industry has soared above and beyond the benchmark of the previous market status quo. The burst in growth is due to new innovations in music, specifically streaming services. The turn in the industry is exciting and reflects a once again healthy economy, making 2016-2017 a successful chapter in music’s financial history books.

“Still hope,” reads a sophomore recording arts student who shared a post regarding the music industry’s growth. These headlines not only allude to the growth of the business sector, but also offer encouragement in an already competitive business.

“Streaming is pulling the business back to health, as revenue grew 68.5 percent to $3.93 billion, up from $2.33 billion in 2015,” according to  Billboard. “In fact, streaming grew so much last year, that it now accounts for more revenue than downloads, CDs, and vinyl combined. Paid music subscriptions doubled in the US, according to the RIAA—up to 22.6 million, from 10.8 million in 2015.” The unexpected revenue growth breathes life back into an industry that many thought was dying.

Furthermore, the available data makes it possible to break down where the majority of revenue growth comes from. “Specifically, a doubling of paid subscriptions to streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music drove overall US revenue from recorded music to $7.7 billion in 2016, creating the majority of the industry’s total,” reported Insider Radio. An “11.4 percent increase marked the industry’s biggest gain since 1998—although it is about half of its $14.6 billion peak in 1999.”

Surprisingly, however, the hipster revamp for vinyl records, isn’t necessarily helping the industry.  “Unit sales grew 1.8 percent to 17.2 million, while revenue rose 3.5 percent, to nearly $430 million (this year, revenue from ad-supported streaming has surpassed vinyl),” Billboard reported. “Since vinyl growth averaged 38 percent a year from 2012 through 2015, according to Nielsen Music numbers, some wonder if the format’s resurgence has peaked.”

The revival of the music industry brings prosperity and ingenuity back to the music industry. This upturn also signals the healthy continuation new opportunity for the technology and financial industries. The music is here to stay.

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