The Music Industry’s Growth Continues Thanks To Streaming

The latest IFPI report that provides an overview of recorded music revenue worldwide is out, and it shows that for the fourth consecutive year the industry has grown. The nearly 10% total growth to $19 billion in revenue comes clearly as a result of paid music streaming subscriptions, which increased by 33% from the previous year.

Indeed streaming now accounts for 47% of record label income, mostly thanks to the fact that there are now 255 million paid subscribers globally. That accounts for almost $9 billion alone.

As would be expected, physical product sales (primarily CDs) fell by another 10% last year. Surprisingly that decline wasn’t universal, as physical sales actually grew in India, Japan and South Korea.

Download sales also decreased, down another 21 percent to $2.3 billion, which is now about 7% of the total market.

The news isn’t great everywhere though. Europe’s recorded music revenue was basically flat with the huge German market actually declining by about 10%. Latin America saw the largest growth at 17%, while North America and Asia were at a steady 12%.

As for the overall market share, the United States remains at #1, followed by Japan. The UK moves into #3 as Germany falls to #4. France comes in at #5 followed by South Korea.

Thanks to the 4 years of steady growth, the music industry has changed quite a bit. Budgets and advances are up, and record labels are more willing to invest in projects that might have fallen by the wayside previously.

Suffice it to say that everyone in the industry is pretty happy with the current state of the industry. The thing to remember is that even though it’s declining, physical sales are still a big portion of the revenue of the industry, and streaming income will have to increase a lot more to make up for its decline.


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