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Global Recorded Music Revenues Continue to Grow

By Steve Harvey. The global recorded music market in 2017 was $17.3 billion.

London, UK (May 4, 2018)—IFPI’s Global Music Report 2018 shows total revenues for the global recorded music market in 2017 were $17.3 billion, an 8.1% increase over the previous year.

The industry’s third consecutive year of growth follows 15 years of significant revenue decline. Despite the recent uplift, revenues for 2017 are still only 68.4% of the market’s peak in 1999.

As recently also reported by Nielsen in its annual report, streaming remains the main driver of recovering revenues. For the first time, streaming has become the single largest revenue source with 176 million users of paid streaming services contributing to year-on-year streaming growth of 41.1%.

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Streaming now accounts for 38.4% of total recorded music revenue and its growth has more than offset a 5.4% decline in physical revenue and a 20.5% decline in download revenue. Total digital income last year accounted for more than half of all revenue (54%) for the first time.

On the red side of the ledger, revenues from physical formats declined by 5.4%, a slightly higher rate than the previous year (4.4%). Physical revenue still accounted for 30% of the global market and a higher percentage of market share in countries such as Japan (72%) and Germany (43%). Globally, revenues from vinyl sales grew by 22.3% and made up 3.7% of the total recorded music market in 2017.

IFPI reports that work by record companies to foster growth in developing markets and investment in the systems to deliver, manage and track the global distribution of music have contributed to Latin American revenues growing by 17.7% and revenues in Asia and Australasia growing by 5.4%.

The reports also names Ed Sheeran as the world’s best-selling recording artist of 2017, reflecting the success of his third studio album ÷ (Divide), which was certified as multi-platinum in 36 markets, and its singles including the global smashes “Shape of You,” “Castle on the Hill,” “Galway Girl” and “Perfect.”

Drake takes second place after a year which saw his More Life mix tape break records for the most streams in 24 hours for an album on Apple Music and best first-day streams for an album on Spotify.

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Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album, Reputation, which was released in November 2017, helped the artist take third place. Reputation debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart and has since topped the charts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the UK and US.

The list of top 10 global recording artists is rounded out by Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons, Linkin Park and The Chainsmokers.

IFPI Report •