A big jump in revenue from streaming services allowed the overall revenue of the music industry to grow 11 percent last year, to $7.7 billion in retail sales ($5.3 billion wholesale, up 9.3 percent), according to the industry group RIAA. And, for the first time, streaming services accounted for half of all digital music revenue.
On the flip side, paid downloads saw their biggest-ever decline, down 22 percent in 2016, to $1.8 billion. And, as RIAA chief Cary Sherman notes, the music business is still half of what it once was.
Here are a couple other key other stats from the report:
- Paid subscription music was the fastest growing category, more than doubling, to $2.5 billion and accounting for roughly 1/3 of the total U.S. music industry.
- Sales of physical music — aka CDs and records — fell 16 percent, to $1.7 billion.
Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated the retail sales and percentage growth of streaming music.