Sales of digital music formats hit $4.51 billion in 2014 — a record level, says Wednesday’s report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Streaming services gained ground in particular, notching up $1.87 billion overall in 2014 — an increase in value of one-third from 2013 — and overtaking CDs for the first time. Rhapsody, Spotify, Pandora and SiriusXM were the leaders in the streaming segment. Paid subscriptions earned a total of $7.7 million in 2014.
Overall, RIAA reported a retail revenue value of $6.97 billion last year. The figure is slightly down from the previous year and points to a flat revenue picture for the industry, which has long worried about revenue decline from digital music piracy and the obsolescence of physical formats like CDs.
Together, downloads and audio-streaming services now account for 64% of the total market by value. Permanent downloads remain the largest source of revenue at 37%.