US recorded music revenues hit $7.7bn in H1 2022, but growth slowed compared to H1 2021
MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a single data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution, and rights management company.
The US recorded music market grew in H1 2022 – but only half as fast as it did in H1 2021.
On a retail basis, recorded music revenues in the US (money spent on streaming subscriptions, as well as physical and digital music), grew $700 million YoY to $7.7 billion in the first half of this year (up from $7 billion in H1 2021).
Back in H1 2021, on a retail basis, US recorded music revenues grew by $1.4 billion YoY to $7 billion (see below).
In other words, mid-year recorded music growth seen in H1 2022 was cut in half compared to H1 2021.
It was the same story for midyear wholesale (trade) revenues: These hit $4.9 billion in H1 2022, up $300 million YoY; in H1 2021, the equivalent figure ($4.6bn) was up by $600 million YoY.
These new stats were published today (September 21) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), in its 2022 Mid-Year Music Industry Revenue Report.
The key reason for this slower overall recorded music market growth in H1 2022 is because of slower music streaming growth.
Including paid subscription services, ad-supported services, digital and customized radio, streaming grew 10%, from $5.9 billion in H1 2021 to $6.5 billion in the first half of 2022.
That represented YoY growth, in revenue terms, of $600 million.
In the prior year period, however (H1 2021), US midyear Streaming Music revenues grew, in revenue terms, by $1.2 billion YoY to $5.9 billion.
Streaming Music’s share of total industry retail revenues was virtually flat in H1 2022, at 84%.
Digging deeper into RIAA’s mid-year data reveals that paid subscriptions were the largest driver of music revenues in H1 2022, growing 10% YoY to $5.0 billion.
According to the RIAA, this total included $525 million in revenues from “Limited Tier” paid subscriptions (for services limited by factors such as mobile access, catalog availability, on-demand limitations, or device restrictions). Services like Amazon Prime, Pandora Plus, music licenses for digital fitness apps, and other subscriptions are included in this category.
The RIAA reports that the average number of paid subscriptions to on-demand music streaming services in H1 2022 reached a record 90 million, up 10% compared with 82 million for H1 2021. (These figures count multi-user plans as a single subscription, and exclude limited-tier services.)
The RIAA reports that this “growth comes on top of the strong rebound the category experienced in 2021 relative to the Covid-19 impacted comparison period the year before that”.
The RIAA also reports that “after remarkable growth in 2021 compared with a Covid-19 shutdown impacted previous year”, vinyl records continued to rise in H1 2022.
Revenues from vinyl albums grew 22% to $570 million, and vinyl’s share of the physical market increased from 68% to 73%.
Revenues from CDs fell 2% to $200 million, and accounted for 26% of physical revenues.
Commenting on the stats published in the RIAA’s mid-year report, RIAA CEO Mitch Glazier, said: “Today we are pleased to release strong U.S. recorded music revenue figures of $7.7 billion for the first half of 2022.
“Those results reflect the incredible creative and commercial partnerships artists and labels have forged that have powered another extremely successful half year. Streaming revenues from paid subscriptions, ad-supported services, and other formats grew 10% to $6.5 billion during this period.
“And the number of paid subscriptions topped 90 million for the first time. Streaming’s long run of success reflects the strength of the modern music economy and the value consumers have found in music subscriptions as well as labels’ tireless work developing additional sources and streams of revenue including ad-supported options on short form video and social media platforms as well as fitness apps and video and soundtrack placement.”
“Today’s report is good news for artists, songwriters, streaming services, and fans — everyone with a stake in music’s future.”
Mitch Glazier, RIAA
He continued: “Today’s report is good news for artists, songwriters, streaming services, and fans — everyone with a stake in music’s future. We truly are seeing the power of recorded music’s rising tide to lift all boats across the music family.
“We are proud of the creative and commercial accomplishments reflected in the strong results reported today. But to achieve true success, we must go beyond the balance sheet and work to advance fundamental music community values.”
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