The RIAA reports that recorded music revenues in the US grew 9.2% to $12.2 billion in 2020.
This is the fifth consecutive year of growth for the industry, with streaming music and paid subscription services driving much of the growth. And, while streaming revenue growth was strong, the growth of vinyl sales more than doubled it.
So – while it was a terrible year for most performing musicians – the pandemic didn’t stop people from streaming and buying more music.
The category includes services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited; ad-supported on-demand services YouTube; digital radio options like SiriusXM; and miscellaneous other streaming licensing.
And, for the first time since 1986, revenues from vinyl records were larger than from CDs.
Total revenues from physical products were essentially flat, at $1.1 billion (down 0.5%) despite the challenges to retail from the pandemic. But vinyl sales grew 28.7% year-over-year to $626 million. Revenues from CDs dropped a whopping 23% to $483 million, continuing a long-term decline.