Streaming is driving growth as paid users now total 46.3 million. As for physical sales, vinyl continues to close the gap on the once-mighty compact disc.
The music industry growth mode continues to enjoy nice increases with U.S. revenue expanding to $4.6 billion in the first half of the year, a 10 percent increase over the $4.18 billion recorded in the corresponding six months of 2017, according to the RIAA.
As usual, streaming is driving the growth with revenue increasing to $3.35 billion, up 28.4 percent from the $2.83 million generated in the first half of 2017. Within that paid subscriptions grew to $2.55 billion, up from $1.91 billion, or a 33.3 percent increase; while ad-supported revenue nearly $498 million, a 15.6 percent increase over the $430.6 million paid out to labels and artists by services last year. Rounding out streaming revenue, SoundExchange distributions from programmed streaming totaled $398.6 million, up 17.4 percent from the $339.5 million paid out in the year earlier six-month period.
Also heartening for the industry, paid subscribers totaled 46.3 million subscriptions, a nearly 15 million increase, or 47.4 percent, from the 31.5 million subscribers counted at the mid-year point in 2017.