RIAA Performance Royalties Up 60% in 2010

A CD Video Disc (playing side) produced in 1987.

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According to 2010 year end shipment statistics reported by the RIAA, digital formats now comprise 47% of all music shipments in the US. That’s a large share, especially compared to the 9% share digital music held in 2005. Overall, the total digital music market in 2010 was $3.2 billion, a 3% increase over last year.

According to 2010 year end shipment statistics reported by the RIAA, revenue from downloaded tracks and albums increased 12% and 8.6% year over year. Sales from physical units were down 10.9%. Music video sales and ringtone sales slipped as well. Subscriptions grew in number, but revenues were down, meaning more subscribers paid less for those services.

Performance royalties are becoming a major source of revenue for the labels. Payments grew from $155 million in 2009 to $249 million in 2010 – a 60% increase in just one year. That’s on top of 55% growth the year before that. At the current pace, that number will top a billion in just a few more years…

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