Digital Radio Paid Musicians $36 Million More Than Paid Subcriptions Last Year

image from 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.


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  1. Hey Bruce,
    Paid music subscription plans only grew 0.3 million in 2010?
    Seems strange since MOG launched in December of 2009, and Rdio in August of 2010. They both seem to have fairly sizable membership (and revenue).
    I don’t have hard numbers, but just seemed off.
    Brendan | @webmusicguy

  2. I’ve been using paid on demand subscription services since 2004 or so and I’m a huge fan.
    MOG — with a great selection and unlimited 320kbps on demand streams for $5/mo (unlimited phone streams/DLs $5 more — blows away anything I’ve tried before (including Spotify Free).
    Most of the problem I see is that many pop tech writers in the tech and mainstream press are really unimaginative and have to be led around by the nose.
    I can’t count how many times I’ve read some slimbrain write, “Gee, why would I want to rent my music?”
    Maybe because you could have access to very high quality streams of almost anything you want to hear almost anywhere, anytime for five or ten bucks a month?
    MOG rocks. I swear.

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