Not every industry struggled in 2020.
Global music sales grew for the sixth consecutive year in 2020, with total revenues rising 7.4% to $21.6 billion, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) “Global Music Report 2021.”
Music industry sales are now close to its all time high (at least based on the past 20 years) when the recorded music industry revenues totaled $23.6 billion in 2001. As a result of piracy and declining physical sales, the market bottomed out at $14 billion in 2014.
The key to growth in 2020 was streaming music, with total streaming subscription revenues (paid and ad-supported) up 19.9% to $13.4 billion. Streaming’s share of global music sales now stands at 62%.
There are 443 million paid subscribers for streaming music services (count me as one of those, thanks to Spotify). There was an 18.5% rise in streaming subscription revenues, which totaled $9.9 billion last year.
Unfortunately, there was a 4.7% drop in physical revenues to $4.2 billion and a 10.1% fall in performance rights revenues to $2.3 billion.
CD sales continue to decline, but vinyl sales continue to increase, as evidenced by last year’s growth of 23.5%.
The year’s top five best-selling artists were K-pop stars BTS, songstress Taylor Swift, rapper Drake, singer The Weeknd, and teen sensation Billie Eilish.
The top digital single was by Blinding Lights by The Weeknd. While its not my type of music, it’s hard to argue with 2.7 billion subscription stream equivalents globally.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t use Blinding Lights as this week’s song: