Today we are pleased to release strong U.S. recorded music revenue figures of $7.7 billion for the first half of 2022. Those results reflect the incredible creative and commercial partnerships artists and labels have forged that have powered another extremely successful half year.
Streaming revenues from paid subscriptions, ad-supported services, and other formats grew 10% to $6.5 billion during this period. And the number of paid subscriptions topped 90 million for the first time. Streaming’s long run of success reflects the strength of the modern music economy and the value consumers have found in music subscriptions as well as labels’ tireless work developing additional sources and streams of revenue including ad-supported options on short form video and social media platforms as well as fitness apps and video and soundtrack placement.
Vinyl sales also remained strong increasing 22%, building on the format’s eye-popping growth last year and cementing its role as a fixture of the modern music marketplace. Music lovers clearly can’t get enough of the high-quality sound and tangible connection to artists vinyl delivers and labels have squarely met that demand with a steady stream of exclusives, special reissues, and beautifully crafted packages and discs.
Today’s report is good news for artists, songwriters, streaming services, and fans — everyone with a stake in music’s future. We truly are seeing the power of recorded music’s rising tide to lift all boats across the music family.
Indeed, artists share of music revenues have risen faster than labels’ and a recent UK study found that label investment in artists has doubled over the last five years while A&R spending on new talent has grown two and a half times faster than company revenues. Songwriters and publishers have seen tremendous growth as U.S. collectives like ASCAP and BMI reported record payments reflecting an increase in the writer/publisher share of music revenues of 50% since the CD era. Digital services also have had unprecedented success as earnings at just one major service rose 22% last year pushing it to over 400 million active listeners worldwide. And 2022 is already shaping up as one of the strongest years ever for live music — roaring back after the long struggle against the pandemic.
And at the epicenter of it all, fans can connect with artists they love across music’s dynamic tapestry in more ways than ever. From documentary videos to artist-hosted spin classes to virtual music festivals, fans’ vast array of choices has grown almost overwhelmingly plentiful and diverse. With next generation innovations like Web3, NFTs, spatial audio and more on their way.
Today’s record labels understand that continued success will take sustained commitment, creativity, and collaboration across the music community.
That means a ceaseless and unyielding effort to ensure artists get paid for their work everywhere and every way it is used, including global anti-piracy efforts to shut down corrosive pre-release leaks and protect artists’ rights, including their personal brand and image, across all platforms. Whether its fighting longstanding threats like counterfeit CDs or emerging ones like bogus NFTs and unlicensed artificial intelligence training systems that attack the heart of an artist’s creative work, record labels are committed to pushing innovation forward in ways that protect artists’ rights and deliver genuine value for fans.
Building an even stronger music future also means celebrating all styles and genres of music, from bold new voices that champion tomorrow’s styles to established artists working to build a lifetime’s body of work. The numbers we report today show the results of those efforts in many ways — including continued high growth in Latin music, reflecting years of label investment, outreach, and commitment to this dynamic segment of the market. In the coming weeks, we will document this growth more fully with a Latin-music focused report.
These results also build on labels’ deep commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion. That shows up in label teams and staffing, where outside experts have reported meaningful progress in hiring and elevating talented leaders from underrepresented groups — including Black executives where labels have surpassed all other segments of the music business. And it reflects an abiding commitment to fairness, justice, and civil rights. That’s why labels are strong supporters of new laws defending freedom of expression and barring the discriminatory use of music lyrics against artists.
We are proud of the creative and commercial accomplishments reflected in the strong results reported today. But to achieve true success, we must go beyond the balance sheet and work to advance fundamental music community values.
Mitch Glazier, Chairman and CEO, RIAA