Streaming Music Sales Outdo Revenue From CDs For The First Time

The inevitable slide toward outdated technology is continuing for CDs, with the revenue generated from streaming music topping CD sales for the first time ever.

A lot has changed in the American music market since the heyday of CDs in 1999, a year that saw recorded music rake in $14.6 billion, notes the New York Times.

In a new report released this week by the Recording Industry Association of America, the association says recorded music brought in about $6.97 billion, which is only a little bit less than the year before.

But how the different categories of music is changing within those relatively flat overall sales, with CDs finally getting surpassed by streaming music.

Last year, 144 million CDs were sold, generating $1.85 billion, a 12% drop from the year before. Paid subscription services like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and Rhapsody brought in $1.87 billion, which is a 29% increase from 2013.

While CD sales are flagging, it’s been quite the comeback story for vinyl LPs, which brought in $321 million — a whopping 50% uptick from the previous year. Not so portable, but so cool.

Sales of Streaming Music Top CDs in Flat Year for Industry [New York Times]