“How the mighty have fallen,” Joan E. Solsman reports for CNET. “Digital downloads, typified by the 99 cent iTunes tracks that ruled the music industry as recently as four years ago, now make less money for US labels than CDs and vinyl records.”

“Downloads represented just 11 percent of US labels’ revenue last year, a music industry trade group said Thursday. Physical sales — the term for music formats you can actually hold, which are mostly CDs and vinyl at this point — booked 12 percent,” Solsman reports. “Instead, streaming music has been asphyxiating demand for downloads. Streaming sales were 75 percent of revenue last year, according to year-end data from the Recording Industry Association of America.”

“Rather than buying music outright, like we did in the era of CDs and downloads, people are increasingly paying monthly fees for all-you-can-access tunes on services,” Solsman reports. “Overall last year, retail revenues from recorded music in the US grew about 12 percent, to $9.85 billion. Subscriptions, like the monthly fees for Apple Music or Spotify’s paid tier, were the biggest moneymaker, at $4.66 billion, up 33 percent, the RIAA said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple saves the music industry yet again.

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Apple Music now leads Spotify in the U.S., the No. 1 recorded music market – December 31, 2018