The Music Industry Is Finally Turning Around!

The Recording Industry Association of America just released its 2011 sales figures yesterday (PDF here), and there was a surprising bit of good news in them.

Total U.S. music sales actually grew for the first time since 2004. They were up 0.2%, just topping $7 billion.

The reason: digital sales were up 9.2% during the year, and physical sales (mostly CDs) dropped only 7.7%, which is smaller than in recent years.

Digital made up more than half of revenues for the first time ever.

There were some other interesting notes as well:

  • Subscription service revenue is growing. The take from services like Spotify and Rhapsody was up almost 14% to $241 million. Total subscribers grew from 1.5 million to 1.8 million.
  • Album downloads are growing like crazy — unit sales (105 million) and revenue ($1 billion) were both up over 20%.
  • CDs are still the biggest seller by far, with more than 240 million sold for more than $3.1 billion.
  • People spent more than $100 million on vinyl records last year. Unit sales and revenues were both up over 30%.

Here’s the full set of stats:

RIAA sales stats 2011

Photo: Recording Industry Association Of America

 

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.