Recorded music means physical record of a musical performance that can then be played back, or reproduced. The Recording Industry Association of America released its 2021 year-end revenue statistics, reporting that overall revenue for recorded music had reached a record $15 billion. Streaming revenues, which would include paid subscriptions, ad-supported streaming services, digital and customised radio, Facebook and digital fitness app licensing, and, for the first time, TikTok, enhanced by 24 percent to $12.4 billion in 2021, budgeting for 83 percent of the overall revenues, similar to 2020.
Currently, the music industry is dominated by the so-called Big Four : Sony Music Entertainment, EMI, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. They control over 85 percent of the U.S. recording music industry. The Recording Industry Association of America analyzes the Big Four and other record labels to estimate statistics. According to The Recording Industry Association of America, even though overall physical sales stagnate in 2020 because of lockdowns, Vinyl (Phonograph record) continues to make gains for the 15th consecutive year; It’s revenue in 2021 is $1.0 billion which accounts for 63% of revenues from physical formats. The very last time vinyl records exceeded $1 billion in sales was 1986. CD sales jumped 21% after dropping in 2020however they still haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. The amount of users for music streaming services also increased naturally. From 2019 to 2021, the average number of paid subscriptions grew 39%, while paid subscription revenues grew 40% over the same two-year period. At the end of 2021, Spotify had 406 million monthly active users, including 180 million premium subscribers and 226 million ad-supported. The second most used music streaming service, Apple music, is estimated to have 78 million subscribers worldwide in June 2021, up by six million from the previous year.