IFPI has issued its annual Global Music Report for 2019, though without the usual high-profile event announcement with execs in London discussing the growing streaming market.
While this year’s launch is more low-key as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the results globally are still strong – though, of course, the story may be different in 12 months’ time, with physical sales badly hit during the lockdown.
For the full year 2019, total revenues for the global recorded music market grew by 8.2% to $20.2 billion (£16.3bn). That compares to global growth of 9.7% in 2018, which suggests there’s still scope for the streaming market to expand globally for some time, even if individual territories are clearly becoming mature digital markets.
It was the fifth consecutive year of growth, as streaming continued to power the revenue gains globally.
The UK held on at No.3 behind the US and Japan, and ahead of Germany. The UK market was up 7.2% year-on-year in 2019 to secure its No.1 position in Europe, according to the IFPI.
Global streaming revenue grew by 22.9% to $11.4bn (£9.2bn) and for the first time accounted for more than half (56.1%) of global recorded music revenue. Growth in streaming more than offset a 5.3% decline in physical revenue, a slower rate of decline than 2018.
This growth was driven by a 24.1% increase in paid subscription streaming with nearly all markets reporting growth in this area. There were 341 million users of paid streaming services at the end of 2019 (up 33.5%), with paid streaming accounting for 42% of total recorded music revenue. Spotify recently reported 130m subscribers.
While the numbers we are reporting are a snapshot of the business last year, the Covid-19 pandemic presents challenges unimaginable just months ago
Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, said: “The Global Music Report we issued today covers results for 2019 and reflects the successful work and investment of music creators – from record companies to artists and beyond. Importantly, the strong foundation we built over the past several years helped deliver growth in 2019.
“While the numbers we are reporting are a snapshot of the business last year, the Covid-19 pandemic presents challenges unimaginable just months ago. In the face of a global tragedy, the music community has united behind efforts to support those affected. This is a critical and ongoing priority as our member record companies work to continue to support the careers of artists, musicians and employees around the world.”
For the fifth consecutive year, Latin America was the fastest-growing region (up 18.9%) with its three largest markets growing strongly: Brazil (up 13.1%), Mexico (up 17.1%) and Argentina (up 40.9%).
Europe, the world’s second-largest region, grew 7.2% after being almost flat in 2018. The UK, Germany (up 5.1%), Italy (up 8.2%) and Spain (up 16.3%) all reported strong growth.
Asia saw overall growth of 3.4%, a slower rate of growth than 2018, but this was largely due to a decline in Japan of 0.9%, a result of physical sales falling 4.8%. Japan remains a physical-heavy market. Elsewhere in the region, South Korea (up 8.2%), China (16%) and India (up 18.7%) all experienced strong growth. China held at No.7 globally.
Australasia grew by 7.1% with overall digital revenues rising 11.6% and physical format revenues falling 20.4%. Australia, the tenth biggest market, recorded growth of 6%, with New Zealand posting an increase of 13.7%.
US & Canada grew by 10.4%, remaining the largest region for recorded music revenues, accounting for 39.1% of the global market. The US grew by 10.5%, its fifth consecutive year of growth. Canada, which was largely flat in 2018, increased by 8.1%.