“After almost two decades of relentless decline caused by piracy and falling prices, the music business is enjoying a fragile recovery thanks to the growth of paid streaming services like Spotify Ltd. and Apple Music,” Lucas Shaw reports for Bloomberg. “Retail spending on recorded music grew 8.1 percent to $3.4 billion in the first half of 2016, according to a draft midyear report from the Recording Industry Association of America that was obtained by Bloomberg News. That means the U.S. industry is on pace to expand for the second straight year — the first back-to-back growth since 1998-1999.”

“The credit goes to streaming,” Shaw reports. “U.S. streaming revenue grew 57 percent to $1.6 billion in the first half of 2016 and accounted for almost half of industry sales, more than countering shrinking purchases of albums and singles. Subscriptions totaled $1.01 billion, according to the RIAA data.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple Music launched on June 30, 2015.

“Most of the users for Apple Music are people new to paying music, not former Spotify customers, according to label executives,” Shaw reports. “The results can be seen in the financials of large music companies. Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group reported first-half growth, while through nine months ended June 30, sales at Warner Music Group, owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik, grew 8.5 percent to $2.41 billion, according to filings. Sony Music Entertainment also reported gains in its latest quarter.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Slowly, but surely, Apple Music will grow to take the crown as the world’s #1 music-streaming service. Demographics and simple mathematics guarantee it.

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