For the first time in seven years, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has reported that digital downloads earned less revenue than physical music sales in 2017.
In 2017, physical sales from the likes of records, CDs and cassettes accounted for 17% of overall industry sales, while digital downloads took out a mere 15% of gross industry sales. Music streaming accounted for over 65% of the listening industry, with paid subscriptions looking to be the biggest industry growth driver, growing by more than 50% in a year and earning more than $4 billion for the first time ever.
While the report does suggest that physical sales are still in decline, with sales actually dropping 4% in 2017, digital downloads have definitely taken the biggest loss, reporting a 25% decrease. Could this spell the end of the iTunes era?
You can check out the full RIAA report here.