Digital music revenue in the U.S. from 2008 to 2018, by type

The statistic provides a breakdown of digital music revenue in the United States from 2008 to 2018, broken down by type. In 2018, revenue from digital albums downloads amounted to 499.7 million U.S. dollars, down from over 668 million a year earlier.

Digital music – additional information

The increase in digital music revenue, more specifically subscription and streaming services, may be down to the accessibility and availability of digital music. For legal downloads, consumers can pick between services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. Of course, there are countless numbers of illegal sites which distribute digital music also. In 2017, approximately 53 percent of global internet users aged 16 to 24 admitted to accessing music through copyright infringement, the most popular method being music ripping.

Digital music sales have made a huge impact on the listings of best-selling lists with digital sales either being combined with physical sales or set apart. The list of the top-selling digital songs in the United States in 2018 features artists such as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Drake. The title for the top selling digital song goes to ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran. The song sold over one million units in the United States from December 2017 to June 2018.

Nevertheless, the share of the digital music market does not always directly correspond to the value of the digital market. The value of digital music singles downloads in 2017 amounted to 490.4 million U.S. dollars, which marked a drop in value from 678.5 million in 2017. The value of digital album sales also saw a decrease from 668.5 million in 2017 to 499.7 million in 2018.

Digital music revenue in the United States from 2008 to 2018, by type

Ringtones & ringbacks*Subscription and streaming**Album downloadsSingle downloadsOther digital***
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Release date

February 2019


United States

Survey time period

2008 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Includes master ringtones, ringbacks, and, prior to 2013, music videos, full length downloads, and other mobile.
**SoundExchange Distributions as well as subscription and streaming not distributed by SoundExchange.
*** Includes Kiosks, music video downloads, and starting in 2016 other digital music licensing.
In 2012, RIAA changed the way it reports subscription figures. Earlier figures for this category are available in the download documents.
Figures for the period 2008 to 2015 were taken from RIAA's earlier publications.

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Statistics on "Music industry in the U.S."

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