Key Research

The Recording Industry Association of America collects and compiles information on both shipment and purchasing trends of recorded music in the United States. 

The RIAA’s shipment statistics for the recorded music industry include key formats (CDs, cassettes, downloads etc.), and both the number of units and dollar values are included as well.   This data is our estimate of the size of the U.S. recorded music industry based on data collected directly from the major music companies (which create and/or distribute about 85% of the music sold in the U.S.), and estimates where possible for the remaining parts of the market.  For more information, read the RIAA's Music Notes Blog post:  So What Exactly Is A ‘Shipment’?

The RIAA provides access to two years’ shipments data for free. Also available are two years’ shipment data from the Latin sector.  These figures, which are incorporated into the overall U.S. Market Report, show shipments of Latin music product in the domestic marketplace. Latin music is defined as product 51 percent or more in the Spanish language.

The RIAA created a new shipment subscription service offering an interactive database where users can view, compare, and export historical year-end U.S. shipment statistics, including expanded access to historical data going back to 1973. With this subscription users can create bar and pie charts, plus export figures and data to excel, PDF, and image formats.  More information on that subscription service as well as a demo is available here.