Streaming Soars in First Half of 2015 While CD Sales Fall 31%; Vinyl Up 52%

The day of the physical consumption of music may be ending sooner than we thought.

The use of streaming services has soared during the first half of 2015 according to the RIAA, taking over second place from physical products for the music dollar. Permanent downloads is still the leader, accounting for 40% of the market, but almost every format lost share compared to the first half of 2014:
  • Download Singles - $687,600,000 - down 9.4%
  • Download Albums - $571,500,000 - up 4.2%
  • Ringtones and Ringbacks - $28,000,000 - down 22.0%
  • Music Videos - $7,300,000 - up 5.7%
Digital Subscriptions and Streaming are now in second place.
  • Paid subscriptions - $477,900,000 - up 24.9%
  • On-demand Streaming (ad supported) - $162,700,000 - up 27.1%
In addition, SoundExchange distributions to performers and composers is up 19.7% to $387,200,000. 

Finally, physical product has dropped to the bottom of the landscape:
  • CD's - $494,800,000 - down 31.5%
  • LP's/EP's - $221,800,000 - up 52.1%
  • Music Videos - $23,700,000 - down 19.4%
  • Vinyl Singles - $4,200,000 - up 21.8%
  • DVD Audio - $2,400,000 - up 453.5%
  • SACD - $400,000 - down 11.9%
RIAA Chairman Cary Sherman said "The data continues to reflect the story of a business undergoing an enormous transition. There are many positive signs: continuing the trend from 2014, wholesale revenues for the first half of 2015 increased. And revenues from streaming music services continue to grow at a healthy double digit rate. The product of music and the extraordinary roster of artists represented by today’s music labels remains in high demand. That is the bedrock of a successful future.

“At the same time, intense demand and billions of streams does not always equal fair market rates or a fair playing field. Addressing that is an essential element of fulfilling the enormous promise of today’s digital marketplace.”

The RIAA report can be seen here

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