The US recorded music industry hit all the right notes in 2023, with a blend of streaming dominance and a surprising physical resurgence.

The US is the world’s largest recorded music market. In 2023, it’s huge scope grew even further leading to its eighth year of consecutive music revenue growth. Overall US recorded music industry revenues grew by 8%, according to the RIAA’s 2023 report.

The US claims many of the world’s largest artists. Audiences in the US also love music with Americans spending more than 4 hours a day listening to music. With huge musical exports and listening hours combined, total recorded revenues for the US hit a record high of $17.1 billion in 2023.

Streaming continues to drive the growth of the music industry, as seen in the IFPI report which revealed nearly 50% of global music revenues were driven by music streaming subscriptions.

In the US, 84% of the recorded music revenues for 2023 were made by streaming. Ad-supported revenue from platforms like YouTube and Spotify grew slower than in recent years, up just 2%. Paid subscriptions outpaced free, ad supported results with 5.7% growth in the number of subscriptions. That equals a total of 96.8% million paying subscribers in the UK.

In 2023, music fans witnessed price hikes implemented by major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. While the immediate impact is clear, these adjustments could further fuel revenue growth in the years to come.

US music listeners continue to rediscover physical music

In second place came physical music purchases which saw growth of 11% last year for a whopping $1.9 billion in revenues. A resurgence in vinyl sales have been boosting the numbers but strangely CDs have been coming back into fashion alongside records, boosting revenue. 43 million vinyl records were sold, followed by 37 million CDs.

This marks the 17th consecutive year of growth for vinyl, solidifying its position as more than just a nostalgic fad. In a historic moment, vinyl sales even surpassed CD sales in unit volume (43 million vs 37 million) for the first time since 1987. This resurgence highlights the enduring appeal of physical music ownership, offering a tangible connection with the music fans cherish.

RIAA Optimistic About Future

The RIAA report paints a bright picture for the future of the US recorded music industry. RIAA Chairman & CEO Mitch Glazier expressed optimism, highlighting “an ‘all of the above’ commitment to meet fans everywhere they want to be” as a key driver of success.

He emphasized the importance of licensing deals with social networks, fitness apps, and short-form video platforms, further expanding revenue streams. Glazier concluded with a positive outlook for artists, songwriters, and fans, fuelled by new formats, innovative platforms, and a thriving music ecosystem.

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