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Full stream ahead: streaming has become the #1 revenue source for record labels

The State Of The Streaming Nation, an annual report out of MIDiA Research, is a benchmark study each year into the changing landscape of music publishing. It comes out in June each year, but in 2017 they’re treating us to an early teaser of their  report to come.

Data from the first quarter of 2017 declares one thing; streamers such as Spotify and Youtube have become the standout revenue source for major labels, far outstripping physical sales and continuing its seemingly unstoppable upwards growth.

spotify streaming major labels 2017

There’s no point denying anymore, streaming is king. New data from MIDiA research shows that the format’s trajectory cannot be stopped.

Despite already strong stats out of 2015 and 2016, the initial data from Q1 of 2017 shows a new dominance, with the format accounting for a whopping 42% of major label (Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music) in the period.

That’s a $400m rise in revenue from Q1 of 2016. Check out the graph below.

major label streaming revenue

In summarising this report, MIDiA had the following to say:

“Streaming is now the stand out revenue source, far outstripping physical’s $0.6 billion. Though a degree of seasonality needs to be considered, the trajectory is clear. Record labels are now becoming streaming businesses.”

Via MIDiA Research.