Here’s a sentence we haven’t heard in awhile: The music industry is growing. During the first half of 2016, the industry saw an 8.1% increase in revenue, according to a recent report from the RIAA. Fueling this growth is a huge uptick in the number of people paying for on-demand music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Subscription revenue in the first half of 2016 increased 57.4% over last year while digital downloads and physical album sales both continued to drop. All told, subscription services raked in $1 billion (this doesn’t include ad-supported streaming like YouTube and Spotify’s free tier).
The numbers suggest that 2016 could wind up being an uncharacteristically strong year for an industry that has seen steep declines since the the late 1990s. In 2015, things finally started turning around when the industry saw a 0.9% increase in revenue.