RIAA full-year 2022: Music subs leap upward, breaking through $10-billion U.S. revenue

“Streaming continued to account for a large majority of recorded music revenues in 2022.” Thus reports the first line in the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)’s full-year 2022 earnings report. This annual benchmark is the authoritative measure of the American recorded music industry, spanning all product categories from CDs to vinyl to downloads to subscription and ad-supported streaming.

All streaming platforms grew seven percent year-over-year, amounting to $13.3-billion. About 75% of that was subscription streaming revenue, which totalled to $10B.

Streaming as a whole (the $13.3B figure above) made up 84% of total recorded music earnings in the U.S. Approximately 92-million subscription accounts were accounted for by the RIAA — a nearly 10% growth year-over-year. Fair to say, if it wasn’t already established, the American music market is predominantly a streaming music market.

The Big Picture

All in, the U.S. recorded music market grew six percent from 2021, to $15.8-billion.

The timeline below shows the evolution of American recorded music sales from 1973. Dark green represents music subscriptions.


BLUE LP & Cassette / ORANGE CD, / PURPLE Download / GREEN Streaming


Below, we can see how subscription streaming (green) overtook physical CDs. (orange):


And for more context, the chart below adds downloadable music (purple) which eats into CD sales, then is overtaken by the swift rise of subscription streaming.

Brad Hill