RIAA claims music has a $170bn economic impact in US


The latest industry body making the case for music’s wider economic impact is the RIAA in the US. It has commissioned and published a new report by research firm Economists Incorporated claiming that in 2018, the music industry contributed $170bn to US GDP, while supporting 2.5m jobs across the country.

The $170bn is a 14.8% increase on the $148bn for 2015 cited in a previous study of this kind. “For every dollar of direct revenue within the US music industry, an additional 50 cents is created in an adjacent industry in the US economy,” claimed the new report. It also cites a new figure for US music industry exports: $9.08bn in 2019.

One wrinkle is that the datasets being used for these calculations are all pre-Covid-19, but as the industry continues to lobby for support at a state and federal level in the US, the report will provide plenty of figures to pitch policymakers with.


Image by Leeroy Todd /

Written by: Stuart Dredge