The announcement that the RIAA would allow revenue to be made through paid streaming services was one of the biggest game changers for rap music.
For one it was a huge move for the artist's in a industry were physical sales continued to drop and piracy lingered on as a major problem. Secondly it was a major move for the entire genre of hip hop as little over a year later there was a noticeable acceleration in revenue made from digital sales.
The revenue acceleration went up from 8 percent in 2016 to a increase of 17 percent in mid 2017. The sales doubled, not only that but digital sales had become responsible for a staggering 84 percent of sales for 2017 a increase of 21 percent from the previous 2016 sales.
This is a statement from Billboard on digital sales:
"Of the total $4.0 billion market, 62 percent of revenue came from streaming ($2.5 billion, up 48 percent); 19 percent from digital downloads ($757 million, down 24 percent); 16 percent from physical ($632 million, down one percent) and three percent from synch revenue."
In addition to everything that going digital has already done in this short time, we must also factor in that streaming services provide a platform for artist's to be paid from advertisements. For these reasons Hip Hop has actually overtaken Rock as the biggest form of music in the U.S. Hip Hop claims 25.1 percent of all music sales while Rock is closely behind at 23 percent.
This is a first for Hip-Hop which was never expected to be as big as rock music. The change is largely because Rock still holds the largest percentage of physical sales for the whole U.S, 40 Percent to be exact. While Hip-Hop artist's and fans have been taking advantage of the convenience of streaming music much more, accelerating the revenue earned and catapulting Hip-Hop to America's most popular form of music.
Coming July 1st Best Buy has announced it will no longer sell CDs, with Target potentially to follow suit..
This news follows a steady decrease in revenue for the store, and its peers, due to people buying music less and less in general and, of course, the rapid rise of streaming in the past few years.
Sources suggest that CDs only make the company approximately $40 million annually. Best Buy's around the country will continue to offer vinyls for the time being as sales for records have been on the rise for the past 3-4 years.
It's also been reported that Target will follow suit and refrain from selling CDs in the near future if their consignment offer is not met.
In layman’s terms, Target is currently made to pay for any goods shipped and not sold within 60 days of labels sending them out. Consignment would mean that labels take that risk now.
This could sadly be the beginning of the end for all CDs everywhere.
Who knows what this means for CDs, especially for the smaller artists, in the longterm but with the resurgence of vinyl, and collector types in general, it is doubtful they will stop completely for many generations.