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Spotify, Apple Boost Music Business to Best Year in Two Decades

  • Growth of 11 percent in 2016 is fastest since 1998, RIAA says
  • But industry revenue is still half 1999 peak as CD sales wane

The growing popularity of Spotify and Apple Music is nursing the music industry back to health after years of declining sales.

In 2016, U.S. music sales grew 11% to $7.7 billion, the Recording Industry Association of America said Thursday. That’s the biggest jump since 1998, when the industry sold almost six times as many CDs. Streaming, a category that includes Spotify, Pandora and YouTube, accounted for 51 percent, the first time it has contributed the majority of revenue.