A Strong Half-Year for U.S. Recorded Music (Guest Column)

A Strong Half-Year for U.S. Recorded Music (Guest Column)

Today we are releasing U.S. recorded music revenue data for the first half of 2023, reflecting 9.3% growth over the first half of 2022 — the ninth straight year of positive growth.

With overall first-half revenues hitting an all-time high of $8.4 billion at retail value and paid streaming subscriptions nearing 96 million, this report makes clear the strength of American recorded music’s fundamentals.


U.S. Recorded Music Revenues Hit All-Time High of $8.4B in First Half of 2023: RIAA


For example, this new data shows broad strength across formats — especially digital streaming, which now comprises some 84% of recorded music revenues and grew at a robust 10.3% rate this period. Looking solely at paid streaming subscriptions, that figure climbs to 11%.

In fact, paid subscription services were responsible for nearly two-thirds of total revenues and more than three-quarters of streaming revenues. And they continued to grow at an even faster rate than ad-supported revenues.

But it’s not only streaming; the new data also show the lasting power of physical formats — which grew by 5% — including growth in the value of sales of CDs and vinyl. Overall, physical revenues reached their highest level since a full decade ago, topping $880 million so far this year.

And digital and customized radio music revenues, which include SoundExchange distributions for revenues from services like SiriusXM and internet radio stations, grew 16% to $657 million for the period.

As we’re fond of saying, “Music doesn’t just happen.” This success reflects the hard work, innovation, and creative genius of the artists, songwriters, labels, publishers, and services that make up the U.S. music community. 

Finally, with annual Latin music revenues in the U.S. exceeding $1 billion for the first time in 2022 and the first half of 2023 showing continued growth faster than overall revenues, Latin music continues to shine — both economically and creatively. We look forward to releasing a full report on the Latin segment during Hispanic Heritage Month and as a capstone to our upcoming RIAA Honors Celebration of Latin music where we will recognize legends Gloria and Emilio Estefan, superstar Sebastián Yatra and other Latin music trailblazers as well as the policymakers who protect it all.

RIAA is proud to develop and release this transparent data which shows the continued power and vitality of U.S. recorded music.

Mitch Glazier is chairman/CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.

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