Physical music sales have been sharply declining for years while the digital download rises but it seems the times are changing.
According to a report by the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA), physical music sales contributed more to the total music industry revenue in 2017 than digital downloads for the first time since 2011.
Physical made up for 17 per cent while digital downloads made up 15 per cent after suffering a 25 per cent fall from the previous year.
Of course, this has a lot to do with streaming. Streaming now makes up 65 per cent of the market and has contributed to growing market revenue across the board. It’s the first time US music revenue has grown two years in a row since 1999.
While physical music revenue fell by 4 per cent, it’s a less sharp decline than previous years, owed largely to vinyl. Vinyl revenues were up by 10 per cent with the report remarking, “Vinyl continues to be a bright spot among physical formats.”
The MP3 and the success of the iTunes store once looked set to dig a grave for physical music but it looks like it’s having its revenge.