First published on http://www.cnbc.com/
The numbers don’t lie. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, music industry revenue totaled $15 billion in 2003 and that figure fell by more than half to only $7 billion by 2013. When looking specifically at the number of albums sold, Nielsen SoundScan reports that the U.S. is selling 30 million fewer albums than just two years ago, now at nearly 121 million albums. This trend is also being seen with U.S. digital album sales, which saw a decline of nearly 16 million to 113 million units in just the last year.
What’s keeping the industry barely afloat is music streaming. According to the Nielsen SoundScan 2014 mid-year report, music streaming for the first half of 2014 saw a 42% increase compared to last year, but that growth isn’t enough to offset the decline in physical and digital CD sales.