Good News for Apple’s US Music Business


Apr. 12 2019, Updated 8:24 a.m. ET

US streaming music revenue rose to $7.4 billion

The streaming music market in the US continues to grow, which is good news for providers such as Apple (AAPL). According to data from music industry trade group RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), the music retail business in the United States generated $9.8 billion in revenue in 2018, up from $8.8 billion in 2017. Revenue from streaming music platforms rose 30% from the previous year to $7.4 billion in 2018, contributing 75% of total music revenue generated in the country.

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Apple leading in a booming market

Within the streaming music category, paid subscription services such as Apple Music are the growth engine. Subscription music revenue increased 32% to $5.4 billion in 2018, supported by an increase in the number of subscribers. There were over 50 million paying music subscribers in the United States at the close of 2018, up from 35.3 million in 2017. According to media reports, Apple now boasts the largest number of paying music subscribers in the United States at 28 million against Spotify’s (SPOT) 26 million.

Apple counting on service business for growth

The music business falls under Apple’s services division, which the company is counting on to be a major driver of its revenue growth in the coming years as demand for iPhones has slowed down. Apple’s revenue declined 5.0% YoY to $84.3 billion in the first quarter, which ended in December. Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), and Pandora owner Sirius XM (SIRI) recorded revenue increases of 22%, 20%, and 8.0% YoY, respectively, in the December quarter.


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