The World's Recorded-Music Revenue Boomed in the Pandemic - Rolling Stone
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The World’s Recorded-Music Revenue Boomed During the Pandemic

The global recorded-music market grew by 7.4 percent in 2020, to $21.6 billion, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth

Photo taken in Lublin, Poland

Przemyslaw Klos/EyeEm/Getty Images

The official numbers are in. The global recorded-music market grew by 7.4 percent in 2020, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth, with that year of growth taking place during a worldwide pandemic.

That’s according to IFPI, the organization that represents the recorded-music industry worldwide, which published its Global Music Report Tuesday (March 23rd), revealing that global recorded-music revenues reached $21.6 billion in 2020.

Growth was driven by streaming, especially by paid-subscription streaming revenues, which increased by 18.5 percent, according to IFPI, which reports that there were 443 million users of paid subscription accounts at the end of 2020. Total streaming (including both paid subscription and advertising-supported) grew 19.9 percent year-on-year and reached $13.4 billion, or 62.1 percent of total global recorded-music revenues.

The growth in streaming revenues more than offset the decline in other formats’ revenues, including physical revenues which declined 4.7 percent and revenues from performance rights which declined 10.1 percent — largely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recorded-music revenues grew in every region around the world in 2020, including Latin America, which maintained its position as the fastest growing region globally (15.9 percent).

Streaming revenues grew by 30.2 percent in Latin America and accounted for 84.1 percent of the region’s total revenues.

In Asia, revenues grew 9.5 percent, and digital revenues surpassed a 50 percent share of the region’s total revenues for the first time. Excluding Japan (which saw a decline of 2.1 percent in revenue), Asia would have been the fastest growing region, with exceptional growth of 29.9 percent.

Featured as a region in the report for the first time, recorded-music revenues in the Africa and Middle East region increased by 8.4 percent, driven primarily by the Middle East and North Africa region (37.8 percent). Streaming dominated, with revenues up four percent.

Meanwhile, revenues in Europe, the second-largest recorded-music region in the world, grew by 3.5 percent as strong streaming growth of 20.7 percent offset declines in all other consumption formats.

The U.S. and Canada region grew four percent in 2020, with the U.S. market up 7.3 percent and Canadian recorded music revenues grew by 8.1 percent.

IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore, said: “As the world contends with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are reminded of the enduring power of music to console, heal, and lift our spirits. Some things are timeless, like the power of a great song or the connection between artists and fans. But some things have changed. With so much of the world in lockdown and live music shut down, in nearly every corner of the globe most fans enjoyed music via streaming.

“Fueled by record companies’ ongoing investment in artists and their careers, along with innovative efforts to help artists bring music to fans in new ways, recorded-music revenues grew globally for the sixth consecutive year, driven by subscription streaming.

“As record companies continue to expand their geographical footprint and cultural reach, music has become more globally connected today than ever before, and this growth has spread across all regions around the globe.

“With many impacted by the pandemic and concerned with growing social injustices, record companies have worked hard to make a meaningful, lasting contribution to the world we want to live in.”

This article originally appeared on Music Business Worldwide.

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