But physical formats buoyed by vinyl sales at their highest since 1987
For the first time ever, streaming services including Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and Vevo brought in more revenue for the US music industry than CD sales.
As detailed in a report issued by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA), 2014 saw streaming services notch up $1.87 billion (£1.25bn) compared to $1.85 billion (£1.23bn) from physical sales.
Revenue from streaming services has been growing year on year since 2009. Last year saw its biggest surge yet, growing 29 per cent percent in one year alone.
However, though CDs are on the decline, 32 per cent of US music industry revenues in 2014 came from physical formats, compared to 25 per cent from streaming services.
Digital downloads led the pack, making up 37 per cent of total revenues. Although, this was an 8.7 per cent decrease on last year.
The success of physical sales could be attributed to the ongoing vinyl resurgence. For the first time since 1987, US vinyl sales reached double-digit percentages (14 per cent) and brought in $315 million (a 49 per cent increase on last year).
At the start of this year it was reported that UK vinyl sales had topped 1.3 million for the first time since 1995.
The biggest-selling album of 2014 on the format was Pink Floyd’s ‘The Endless River’, their first album in 20 years and also the fastest-selling vinyl album of the year. Arctic Monkeys’ ‘AM’ was in second place, with Royal Blood’s self-titled debut in third.
This week Kendrick Lamar (pictured above) broke Spotify’s record for the largest number of streams on a single day. His new album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ was streamed 9.6m times on Monday (March 16) when it was surprise released to fans a week earlier than expected.