The way we listen to music has changed dramatically over the past several years thanks to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recently released statistics showing that 83 percent of the music industry’s revenue in the United States came from streaming services last year, up from less than 10 percent in 2010. Paid subscriptions made up the majority ($9.5 billion) of streaming revenue in 2021, which totaled $12.4 billion. To put that into perspective, the total amount of physical music sales last year was only $1.7 billion, and the $15.0 billion in revenue from downloads was an additional $587 million.

It’s interesting to note that during the past 40 years, the streaming revolution hasn’t been the only significant change in how people consume music. The following chart, based on historical RIAA data, illustrates that over the course of the past four decades, vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, and downloads have all been the most popular way to consume music, with the compact disc enjoying a particularly long and successful reign for the music business. At a time when the CD was also at its peak, music revenue after inflation peaked in 1999 at $23.7 billion. More than twice as much money was made in the recording industry in that year from CD sales alone ($21 billion). Following a low point in 2014, the music business began to rebound; as a result of the rapid rise in streaming subscriptions, 2021 saw the seventh consecutive year of growing music revenues.

Here is the History of Music sales market , its revenue and sales channels.

History of Music sales channels / revenue from CDs to cloud services

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