The sale of vinyl albums in the U.S. brought in more money than the recording industry made from advertising on the free tier of services like YouTube and Spotify last year, according to the RIAA.
Vinyl LP/EP sales rose 32% in 2015 to $416 million, their highest level since 1988, the U.S. record industry group said. That’s still a fraction of overall industry revenues, which edged higher by 0.9% over 2014 to an estimated $7 billion. But it’s more than the revenue generated from on-demand, ad-supported streaming, which grew 31% to $385 million.
The vinyl figure is based on retail value, or the value of records shipped at list price. It doesn’t show how much the labels (or artists) received from the sales, as Billboard notes. For formats with no retail price, such as a free stream, the RIAA uses wholesale value.
In a statement, RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman cited the numbers as “proof that some fundamental market distortions are at play.” Sherman added that “some technology giants have been enriching themselves at the expense of the people who actually create the music.”
To be clear, the number for on-demand, ad-supported streaming doesn’t include online radio services such as Pandora. Also excluded are paid subscriptions to on-demand services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Rhapsody, or Google Play. Overall, U.S. revenues from all types of streaming last year grew 29% to $2.4 billion, according to the RIAA.
Pitchfork has reached out to YouTube and Spotify for a response.
Read our exploration of the value of music over time, How Much Is Music Really Worth?
The post Vinyl Sales Made More Money Than Free Streams Last Year appeared first on Festival Gear.
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