Music streaming services like MOG, Rdio and Spotify may be the talk of the industry, but digital radio from Pandora to Sirius XM surpassed them in royalties paid to musicians and rightsholders for the first time last year. According to RIAA numbers, performance royalties from digital radio services grew 60% from $155.5 million to $249.2 million in 2010. Paid music subscription plans revenue fell 5% from $213 million to $200.9 million million despite subscriber growth from 1.2 million to 1.5 million.
"The subscription services have been relatively flat for the five or six years we've been tracking them," said Joshua Friedlander, the RIAA's vice president of research and strategic analysis.
The dominate force in digital music revenue remained paid single track downloads. They grew 12% to $1.37 billion and album downloads were up 9% to $828.8 million . Ringtones and ringback sales fell 28% to $526.7 million. Overall digital downloads alongside other digital music revenue grew 3% last year to $3.21 billion.