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For the third straight year in a row, the music industry in the US has posted double-digit growth. That’s according to a new report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Revenue from streaming music services increased 30%, reaching $7.4 billion.  Streaming alone contributed 75% of the total revenue in 2018.  According to the RIAA, the medium accounted “for virtually all the revenue growth” last year.

This means that streaming services like Spotify and iTunes are practically carrying the industry, as not many people buy music anymore.

Physical sales also continued to decline.  Revenue from shipments of physical products plummeted 23% to $1.2 billion.  CD sales fell 34% to $698 million.  This figure marks the first time that CDs brought in less than a billion dollars since 1986.


Vinyl, however, continues on the rise.  Revenue from vinyl albums jumped 8% to $419 million.  This marks the highest level of vinyl sales since 1988.  Breaking down physical sales, vinyl comprised more than a third of revenue from physical formats.

It seems like downloading music and collecting albums are fast becoming a thing of the past, when you can simply just download an app and listen to your heart’s content.