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4 Takeaways From RIAA’s 2022 Year-End Report: Paid Subscription Growth, Ad-Supported Dip & Vinyl

by Dan Rys, Billboard Pro, 2023-03-09

The RIAA released its annual year-end report on recorded music revenues in the U.S., with an encouraging top line: In 2022, total revenue was up 6% to $15.9 billion, with paid subscription and wholesale revenues each surpassing $10 billion for the first time. That marks the seventh straight year of growth for an industry that at this point is far removed from the doldrums of the early part of the century.

(...) In actual figures, it’s the smallest increase ($900 million) year over year since 2016, when the business grew 11.4% and added $700 million.

There are plenty of other interesting takeaways to discern from digging through the RIAA’s report. Here are four (plus one bonus item!) that stand out.

Paid Subscriptions — Anything to Worry About?

Both the average number of paid subscribers (those subscribing to full-catalog services like Apple Music or Spotify’s paid tier) and the revenue from full-catalog paid subscriptions grew at much slower rates, both in percentage terms and in actual numbers, than in recent years.

That number should be expected to grow, given price increases by Apple Music, Amazon Music and Deezer in the past year and the increasing pressure on Spotify to boost its price higher than $9.99/month, where it has stayed since entering the U.S. in 2011.


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