All three major music publishers gained market share in 2021 (report)

The global music publishing market was worth an estimated €7.68 billion ($9.07bn) in 2021, versus an estimated €6.51 billion in 2020.

That’s according to the IMPF, the organization that represents independent music publishers internationally, which recently published its new ‘Global Market View’ report.

(That’s not a typo above: Due to the slow-moving nature of publishing royalties, the IMPF’s report makes its calculations on 2021, rather than 2022, data.)

Within the study, IMPF reports that the independent music publishing market was worth an estimated €2.08 billion ($2.45bn) in 2021, compared with €1.95 billion in 2020.

IMPF reports, citing Music & Copyright data, that the independent music publishing sector collectively, had a total global revenue market share of 27.1% in 2021.

Independent music publishing companies are defined within the report as those with a global market share of 5% or below, which means that Kobalt and BMG, which accounted for an estimated 6.8% and 6.2% of the market respectively in 2021, are not included in that tally.

‘Non-major’ publishers (that’s indies plus BMG and Kobalt) accounted for  40.1% of the market in 2021.

The major music companies — Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner Chappell Music – accounted for the other 59.9% of the global publishing market in 2021, according to estimates from Music & Copyright, cited within IMPF’s report (see below).

According to IMPF’s report, which cites Music & Copyright, independent music publishers’ collective 27.1% share of the global publishing market was down 0.8% YoY versus the previous year’s 27.9% share of the market.

For 2021, Music & Copyright estimates that Sony Music Publishing remained the global market leader with a 24.9% share, up 0.4% YoY over the previous year.

In fact, as you can see in the graph above, all three major music publishers are estimated to have gained market share in 2021.

Universal Music Publishing Group was up 0.2% YoY, from 23% in 2020 to 23.2% in 2021.

Warner Chappell Music, which had an 11.8% share of the music publishing market in 2021, was up 0.6% YoY from its estimated 11.2% share of the market in 2020.

Kobalt, which, as previously stated had an estimated 6.8% share of the global music publishing market, in 2021 saw its share fall by 0.2% YoY versus 2020 according to the Music & Copyright data.

BMG, with 6.2%, was also down 0.2% YoY versus 2020.

Annette Barrett, Reservoir Music, and President of IMPF said: “Independent music publishers are a vital creative force in the modern music business.

“They are also an economic force, as this report shows, accounting for over a quarter of the global publishing market. Collectively, independent publishers are the premiere publishing entity in the world, ahead of the largest major company.

“This is a tribute to the many entrepreneurs in each country who develop songwriters and composers, and make sure they get proper remuneration for their music.”

All EUR-USD conversions in this report have been made at the annual average rate provided by the IRS.Music Business Worldwide