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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.

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Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.

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