Forget CDs -- streaming music now makes more money for the U.S. record industry

Streaming is no longer the future of the music industry. It’s the present.

According to RIAA statistics compiled here by Statista, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music generated $US1.028 billion in sales for the U.S. music industry in the first half of 2014, up 23% from last year. That’s still behind digital downloads, but that portion of the industry is shrinking — down 4% from the first half of last year, to $US1.268 million.

As far as physical formats like CDs go? That segment is continuing its long plunge, with revenues dropping 17% from the first half of last year, and is now in third place behind downloads and streams.

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