Apple Music and Spotify help music business' 'fragile recovery'

After almost two decades of decline caused by piracy and falling prices, the music business is enjoying a fragile recovery thanks to the growth of paid streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify.

Retail spending on recorded music grew 8.1%  to $3.4 billion in the first half of 2016, according to a draft midyear report from the Recording Industry Association of America that was obtained by Bloomberg News. That means the U.S. industry is on pace to expand for the second straight year -- the first back-to-back growth since 1998-1999.

“We’re starting to see on-demand music streaming as no longer a thing that hipster college kids and young people do,’’Larry Miller, a former industry executive who now teaches music business at New York University, told Bloomberg.