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Wednesday, March 18, 2015
RIAA Says U.S. Music Business Remained Relatively Flat in 2014

The U.S. music industry shrank 0.5 percent in 2014 as growth in streaming services failed to counter declining consumer spending on physical media.

The RIAA says the industry's revenue mix last year was more balanced between physical, digital and streaming sources than ever before.

Retail revenue declined about half of a percent to $6.97 billion. Recorded music industry wholesale revenue, meanwhile, grew 2 percent to $4.86 billion, according to a report Wednesday from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Revenue from streaming subscriptions, Web radio and online advertising grew 29 percent to $1.88 billion last year, according to the report.

Downloads made up 37 percent of the total market, down from 40 percent in 2013.

Online purchases, once a source of strong growth, also fell to $2.58 billion for the second straight annual drop, the report found.

Physical shipment revenue was 32 percent of the total, down from 35 percent. Sales of CDs and vinyl declined 7.1 percent to $2.27 billion.

Spotify is the largest subscription service. The number of paid streaming subscriptions -- 7.7 million - - indicates that the majority of Spotify’s subscribers reside outside the U.S. Spotify said in January it has more than 15 million subscribers.

Pandora Media, the ad-supported and subscription Internet radio service, finished the year with 81.5 million active users.

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