The recorded music industry in the United States reached new highs in the first half of 2023.

The year isn’t even finished, and 2023 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year for music. According to the RIAA’s report for the first half of 2023, the United States set a new record with $8.35 billion in total revenue.

This represents an exceptional 9% year-over-year growth, driven by streaming revenues in the face of declining physical music unit sales (albeit an increase in dollar value). Music streaming accounted for 84% of overall income in H1 2023, totaling an astounding $7.02 billion across services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.

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Music streaming has long been reshaping the music industry, with profits increasing globally after online piracy threatened the industry as a whole in the early 2000s. The IFPI reported the largest music industry revenues since 2002 in 2021, and the trend is expected to continue, as indicated by this recent research.

Assuming current trends for the US recorded music industry continue in the second half of the year, 2023 is poised to be another watershed moment for artists and the industry as a whole. The shifting form of the music industry has created its own set of problems, as contracts from a bygone era enter a new domain and revenue streams shift.

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Many talks and laws have contributed to develop a more equitable music industry in recent years. One of the more contentious issues in recent years has been how streaming services distribute music income. Deezer, a French streaming service, has led the conversation for an artist-centric streaming strategy.

The notion is that artists are compensated according on the number of followers they have; for example, if a fan pays $10 for a membership and only listens to one artist that month, that artist receives 100% of the royalty pay-out after Deezer’s cut and any licensing fees. This is in contrast to the current conventional model, which sees all money go into a pool and then divided based on a total percentage of plays, favoring large artists while potentially lowering rewards for smaller artists with committed fanbases.

We at RouteNote keep a close eye on the terrain and will always be on the side of the artists as music revenues rise. We are excited to see the music industry expand even further in the digital ecosystem that we are pleased to be a part of, alongside the independent artists with whom we collaborate.


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