The RIAA released its year-end research with news that should surprise absolutely no one: Streaming growth is exploding and it has overtaken CD sales in revenue. Streaming is also closing in on digital downloads and will probably eclipse it sooner rather than later. All in all, the music biz was flat last year, down less than one percent. Recorded music generated $6.97 billion in 2014, as compared to its high in 1999 at $14.6 billion.
The RIAA reports that ad-based free streaming just isn't footing the bills. Free streaming was up nearly 35 percent, but ad-based streaming is only accounting for about 16 percent of the overall revenue of nearly $2 billion in streaming revenue. Paid services saw growth as well in 2014, they were up 25 percent over the year and account for just under 43 percent of streaming revenue.
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