Research Outline

Online Music Sales


To understand the importance of online music sales, including names of the best-selling artists who sells their music online, ways to sell music online, and benefits to the management of the sales of artists who sell their music online.

Early Findings

During our preliminary research, we were able to provide some insights and statistics on the importance of online music sales in the music industry and the 20 higest selling online artists. Below is an overview of our early findings.

Online Music Sales

  • For the first half of 2019, 80% of the U.S. Music Industry's revenue came from streaming music online.
  • This revenue grew 26% from last year, totaling $4.3 billion in revenue.
  • In addition, digital downloads accounted for 9% of the U.S. Music Industry's revenue.
  • The biggest source of the industry's revenue came from paid subscriptions, with a 31% year-over-year growth totaling $3.3 billion, as opposed to $3.4 billion in 2018, $2.7 billion in 2017, and $1.7 billion in 2016.
  • Paid subscriptions made up a total of 77% of U.S. streaming music revenues.
  • Other sources of streaming music revenue came from digital and customized radio services and ad-supported on-demand.
  • Digital and customized radio services accounted for $552 million the first half of the year, as opposed to $527 million in 2018 and $466 million in 2017.
  • For the first half of the year, there were about 61 million to paid subscriptions to full
  • on-demand streaming services.
  • Digital download revenue actually decreased 18% from last year, totaling $462 million.
  • This revenue was made up of digital albums, tracks, and other products like ringtones, videos, and kiosk.
  • Based on this data, it is clear that online streaming and paid subscriptions have helped to improve the U.S. Music Industry whereas digital downloads are decreasing.

Best-Selling Music Artists Online

The "highest-selling artists of all time for "certified units" of digital singles sold in the US", including download and streaming figures are: