Streaming drove 9.7% rise in global recorded-music revenues in 2018

Streaming drove 9.7% rise in global recorded-music revenues in 2018

According to industry body the IFPI, global recorded-music revenues grew by 9.7% in 2018. The figures come from its annual Global Music Report, which was published on April 2, revealing that strong growth in streaming revenues more than made up for the continued decline in sales of CDs and music downloads.

$19.1bn: is the total revenue for recorded music last year, up from $17.4bn in 2017. The figure includes revenue from streaming, sales, performance rights and synchronisation income – but not the publishing or live-music sectors. It’s the fourth consecutive year of growth for recorded music globally.
Within this, global streaming revenues grew by 34% to $8.9m in 2018, accounting for 47% of the global total. Paid streaming grew by 32.9% last year and accounted for 37% of total revenues (around $7.1bn).

According to the IFPI, there were 255 million users of paid streaming subscriptions at the end of 2018: up from 176 million at the end of 2017, with a 44.9% growth. Note: this is people using paid subscriptions, but thanks to family plans, they’re not all actually paying for them.

Physical music sales fell by 10.1% to $4.7bn, which means that since 2001 (when they were $23.3bn) the physical music market has lost nearly 80% of its value. The IFPI noted that within physical, sales of vinyl grew by 6% in 2018. Sales of downloads and other non-streaming digital revenues fell by 21.2% in 2018, to $2.3bn. Meanwhile, performance rights revenues (covering use of recorded music by broadcasters and public venues) grew by 9.8% to 2.7bn, and sync revenues for music licensed for ads, TV shows, films and games grew by 5.2% to $0.4bn

One thing to watch out for: a slowdown in the growth of streaming. The 44.9% growth in the number of paid-streaming users in 2018 compares to 57.1% in 2017. Meanwhile, the 34% growth in streaming revenues last year compares to 41.1% in 2017.