Music streaming is now officially bigger than CDs

Jay ZGetty Images EntertainmentJay Z recently acquired Tidal, a streaming site.

The music streaming industry is now bringing in more money than sales of CDs, Music Business Worldwide reports.

Income from streaming services has been on the rise, while CDs are slowly dying out. Now, for the first time, musicians in the US are receiving more income from streaming sites than they are from CD purchases.

A new report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) breaks down where artists are getting their money from. Income from streaming sites was up 3.2% to $US1.87 billion in 2014, while CD income was down 12.7% to $US1.85 billion.

Streaming isn’t the dominant source of recorded music income for musicians in the US, though. Paid downloads are still big business, bringing in $US2.6 billion. But that could change in the future — downloaded music income was down 8.5% from 2013.

Income from streaming music in the US is at a very different level to Europe. Countries like Sweden and Norway are dominated by streaming. Here’s a chart that shows how big streaming is in Sweden:

And streaming is also credited with bringing about a collapse in music streaming in Norway. The drop in piracy (detailed in the chart below) is mirrored by the rise of streaming in those years.

Music has piracy collapsed in Norway since 2009, a country ruled by streaming sites.

It’s a similar story in Finland, too. Streaming sites saw a 19.6% rise in industry-wide revenues in 2014 to €13.8 million, growing to make up 51% of recorded music sales. That’s in contrast to music downloads, which collapsed 29.2% to €2.02 million.

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