The recording side of the music industry my not have the financial gains per quarter by way of album sales it once did back in the 1990s, but that doesn’t mean fans aren’t spending money on their favorite artists.

In an ironic but worrisome twist of fate to the live side of the industry, which has become the main source of income for most artists over the last decade as album and single sales continued to dwindle heading into the 2020s, concert tours and festivals now cease to exist for the time being as markets cope with the global spread of COVID-19. This now leaves the royalties coming in from recorded music purchased as the main (and only) source of income for most artists for the time being, and very few of whom are at the level of popularity where they could actually pay their rent with those quarterly royalty checks.

There is some good news to take in with this drastic shift in industry earnings, and that’s the fact that 116 million Americans spent money on purchasing music in 2019, making in the highest number of U.S. citizens to do so since 2007 at the height of the now-defunct iTunes online store.

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According to a report of data findings shared by MusicWatch’s 2019 Annual Music Study, the act of fans paying for the consumption of their music continued to rise steadily last year. The above-mentioned total number of U.S. consumers who paid for their music came by way of paid subscriptions to streaming platforms, CD and vinyl, and paid downloads.

The report details that 204 million users utilized streaming across the various platforms in 2019 (the first time ever that the total number has surpassed 200 million) while 80 million fans actually paid for a subscription (12 million more than 2018). According to the study, the growth in paid streaming subscriptions grew thanks to the increase in smart speaker usage streaming while driving/commuting.

Fans can access the full report by sending an inquiry to

[H/T Billboard]