Sep 26, 2017

Subscriptions drive much more streaming music revenue

Expand chart

Data: Recording Industry Association of America; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Streaming now represents the majority of music revenue in the U.S., and of that revenue, the majority comes from paid subscription services, like Spotify and Apple Music, according to a new Recording Industry Association of America report.

  • Revenues reached record highs for the first half of the year among all music streaming categories, (paid subscriptions, digital and customized radio, and on-demand ad-supported streams).
  • But paid subscriptions were by far the biggest driver of growth, growing 61% to $1.7 billion, more than 500% the amount of streaming ad revenue ($273 million).

Why it matters: User growth has been the main revenue driver, according to RIAA's Joshua P. Friedlander. There have been nearly 1 million new music subscriptions per month compared to the prior year, with total U.S. paid music subscribers reaching an average of 30 million for the first half of the year — a record high.

Whereas news publishers and legacy media outlets have struggled to create direct-to-consumer relationships on mobile, the music industry has revolutionized them, and consumers are clearly willing to pay for that premium experience.

Go deeper

Cox Communications ordered to pay $1 billion to music labels, publishers

A U.S. District Court jury on Thursday found Cox Communications, a telecom company, liable for the piracy infringement of more than 10,000 pieces of music, awarding $1 billion in statutory damages to the plaintiffs Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI, according to Billboard.

Why it matters via Axios' Ina Fried: In general, it has been individuals not internet service providers that have been held liable for piracy. "[S]imilar lawsuits ... have been filed against Charter, Charter subsidiary Bright House Networks, RCN, and Grande Communications," The Verge writes.

Go deeperArrowDec 20, 2019

The future of owning content online

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thirty years into the internet era, content creators in many industries, like digital news publishing and music, still believe copyright regulations favor the interests of digital content distributors and make it difficult for them to make money.

The big picture: Countries around the world are trying to address outdated copyright rules to protect the owners of intellectual property across several industries.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

The stock of the decade: Netflix

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios Visuals

Netflix's 4,181% return from 2010 to the present makes it the S&P 500's best performer of the decade, CNBC reports.

The big picture: Netflix was the catalyst for the now-ubiquitous streaming wars that have overloaded dozens of major platforms with live and on-demand video.