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Most recorded music revenue growth due to paid subscription services such as Apple Music

Estimated retail revenues from recorded music in the U.S. grew 12% in 2018 to $9.8 billion in 2018, according to a report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 

For the third year in a row, double-digit growth was driven primarily by increased revenues from paid subscription services including Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon and others, which reached more than 50 million subscriptions in the United States for the first time. Revenues measured at wholesale value also grew 12% to $6.6 billion. Revenue growth from streaming formats continued to be offset by decreases from unit-based sales, including both digital downloads and physical goods.

Total 2018 subscription revenues increased 32% to $5.4 billion, according to the RIAA. Adoption of paid subscription services continued to grow quickly in 2018. The average number of paid subscriptions (excluding limited tier options) grew 42% compared with the prior year, exceeding 50 million for the first time ever. On average, more than one million new subscriptions were added on a monthly basis.