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RIAA: Recorded Music Revenue Hit $17 Billion In 2023, Driven By Streaming's $14 Billion.

The Recording Industry Association of America's just-released report for 2023 shows the recorded music industry's retail revenues up 7.5% from 2022, from $15.9 billion to $17.1 billion. That's a big step up from the 2021-22 trend, when revenues gained 6%. The year-over-year increase marks an eighth consecutive year of growth for recorded music, with $17 billion the highest topline number in the history of RIAA's annual report.

Streaming music, which as in 2022 accounted for 84% of recorded music's revenues, shows a similar growth pattern, up from 2022's $13.3 billion to $14.4 billion in 2023, an 8.3% increase vs. its 2021-22 7.3% lift. Driving that growth were paid subscription revenues, responsible for 78% of streaming revenues and nearly two-thirds (65.5%) of total revenues for 2023, up 9% to $11.2 billion. Total subscribers gained 5.7% from 2022, from 91.6 to 96.8 million, a record high. These figures exclude limited-tier services, and count multi-user plans as a single subscription.

Digital and customized radio music revenues – including SoundExchange distributions for revenues from services like SiriusXM and internet radio stations, as well as from other ad-supported streaming – saw an 8% rise to $1.3 billion. At the same time, music revenues from ad-supported on-demand services such as YouTube and ad-supported Spotify grew at a slower pace than in the past several years, up 2% to $1.9 billion. Overall, ad-supported services made up 11% of 2023's total recorded music revenues.

While physical music sales continued to increase – up 11% year-over-year to $1.9 billion with a 17th straight year of growth for vinyl – the only notable decline was again from digitally downloaded music, down 12% to $434 million. That made up just 3% of U.S. recorded music revenues in 2023, a long way down from its 43% peak in 2012.

“For artists, songwriters, and fans, this strong and sustained growth signals a time of incredible opportunity – with new formats, styles, and sounds rising up across innovative platforms and emerging ways to listen,” RIAA Chairman & CEO Mitch Glazier says in the report. “As new services continue to get fully licensed at rates reflecting music’s incredible value, revenue for artists and songwriters will only continue to grow.”

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