Image credit: RIAA

The US recorded music industry hit record highs for the first half of 2023.

The year isn’t even over yet and 2023 is shaping up to be an incredible year for music. The RIAA have just released their report for the first half of 2023 and it shows that the US hit a new record with $8.35 billion in overall revenue.

That’s an impressive 9% year-over-year growth that is being led by streaming revenues in the face of dropping unit sales for physical music (despite an increase in dollar value). Music streaming made up 84% of the H1 2023 total revenue, an astonishing $7.02 billion across services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.

Image credit: RIAA

Music streaming has long been re-shaping the music industry and has seen revenues around the world grow after internet piracy threatened the industry as a whole in the early noughties. In 2021, the IFPI reported the highest music industry revenues since 2002 and the trend only continues as evidenced by this new report.

Presuming trends continue for the US recorded music industry in the second half of the year, 2023 is set to be another landmark year for artists and the industry at large. The changing shape of the music industry has led to its own frustrations as the contracts of a long-past music industry enter a new domain and revenue streams change.

In recent years, many discussions and legislations have helped to shape a fairer music industry. One of the larger topics at play in recent years, is how music revenues are divided out by the streaming services. The discussion for an artist-centric streaming model has been led by French streaming service Deezer.

The idea is that artists are paid based on their fans; if a fan pays $10 for their subscription and listens to only one artist that month, that artist receives 100% of the royalty pay-out after Deezer’s cut and any licensing fees. This is in contrast to the current standard model which sees all the money go into an overall pot that is then split based on a total percentage of plays, favouring huge artists but potentially diminishing the returns for smaller artists with dedicated fanbases.

As music revenues grow, we at RouteNote keep a constant eye on the landscape and will always be on the side of the artists. We look forward to seeing the music industry grow even further in the digital landscape that we’re proud to be a part of, alongside the independent artists we work with.