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Global Music Sales Rise To 7.4% Despite Effects Of Covid-19

The global recorded music market grew by 7.4% in 2020, the sixth consecutive year of growth.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the organisation that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide, revenues for 2020 were US$21.6 billion.

The report shows that growth was driven by streaming, especially by paid subscription streaming revenues, which increased by 18.5%.

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% and reached $13.4 billion, or 62.1% 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%; and revenues from performance rights which declined 10.1% – largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The work and investment of record companies have helped lay the foundations for a predominantly digital industry that proved its resilience against the extraordinary circumstances of 2020.

In a challenging year, record companies have worked alongside their artist partners to support them in creating and recording music and the whole sector has continued to drive innovations in the ways fans can experience music around the world.

In the report, 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”.

“Fuelled 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,” he said in the report that was released in March 2021.

Recorded music revenues grew in every region around the world in 2020, including:

  • Latin America maintained its position as the fastest-growing region globally (15.9%) as streaming revenues grew by 30.2% and accounted for 84.1% of the region’s total revenues.
  • Asia grew 9.5% and digital revenues surpassed a 50% share of the region’s total revenues, for the first time. Excluding Japan (which saw a decline of 2.1% in revenue), Asia would have been the fastest-growing region, with an exceptional growth of 29.9%
  • Featured as a region in the report for the first time, recorded music revenues in the Africa & Middle East region increased by 8.4%, driven primarily by the Middle East & North Africa region (37.8%). Streaming dominated, with revenues up 36.4%.
  • Revenues in Europe, the second-largest recorded music region in the world, grew by 3.5% as strong streaming growth of 20.7% offset declines in all other consumption formats.
  • The US & Canada region grew 7.4% in 2020. The US market grew by 7.3% and Canadian recorded music revenues grew by 8.1%.

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