Global recorded music revenues hit $25.9bn in 2021, up 18.5% YoY

Global recorded music revenues reached $25.9 billion in 2021, an increase of 18.5% versus 2020.

That’s according to figures published today (March 22) in the Global Music Report 2022 from IFPI, the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide.

IFPI, which unveiled its new report at a press conference in London today, cites paid subscription streaming as a key driver behind the 18.5% growth, with paid subscription streaming revenues having increased by 21.9% YoY to $12.3 billion in 2021.

There were 523 million users of paid subscription accounts at the end of 2021.

Total streaming (including both paid subscription and advertising-supported) grew by 24.3% to reach $16.9 billion, or 65% of total global recorded music revenues.

In addition to streaming revenues, IFPI reports that growth was supported by gains in other areas, including physical formats (+16.1%) and performance rights (+4.0%).

IFPI reports that recorded music revenues grew in every region around the world in 2021.

The USA & Canada region grew by 22% in 2021, outpacing the global growth rate. The USA market alone grew by 22.6% and Canadian recorded music revenues grew by 12.6%.

Asia grew by 16.1%, with its largest market, Japan, seeing growth of 9.3%. Excluding Japan the region experienced a 24.6% climb in revenues. In a continuing trend, Asia also accounted for a significant share of the global physical revenues (49.6%).

Meanwhile, Australasia experienced growth of 4.1%. Australia (+3.4%) remained a Top 10 market globally and New Zealand saw a rise in streaming revenues push the overall market to growth of 8.2%, according to IFPI.

Revenues in Europe, the second-largest recorded music region in the world, grew by 15.4%, a steep increase on the prior year’s growth rate of 3.2%. The region’s biggest markets all saw double digit percentage growth: UK (+13.2%), Germany (+12.6%) and France (+11.8%).

Latin America saw growth of 31.2%, which IFPI notes is one of the highest growth rates globally. Streaming accounted for 85.9% of the market, one of the highest proportions in any region.

Elsewhere, the Middle East and North Africa – split out as a separate region in the Global Music Report for the first time – experienced growth of 35%. IFPI reports that this was the fastest regional growth rate globally. Streaming was a particularly strong driver in the region, with a 95.3% share of the market.

Sub-Saharan Africa was also split out for the first time in IFPI’s report. The region saw revenue growth of 9.6% in 2021, largely driven by streaming. Ad-supported was particularly strong in this region, with revenues from this format growing by 56.4%.

Frances Moore IFPI

“Today’s music market is the most competitive in memory.  Fans are enjoying more music than ever and in so many different and new ways.  This creates enormous opportunities for artists.”

Frances Moore, IFPI

Opening a press conference in London to unveil the report, IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore expressed concern regarding events in Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis, saying: “IFPI stands with our colleagues across the music community in our support for urgent humanitarian relief for refugees and our call for an end to the violence.”

Commenting on the Global Music Report, Moore continued: “Around the world, record companies are engaging at a very local level, to support music cultures and bring on the development of emerging music ecosystems – championing local music and creating the opportunities for it to reach a global audience. As more markets mature, they join with and contribute to the rich, globally interconnected music world.

Added Moore: “Consequently, today’s music market is the most competitive in memory.  Fans are enjoying more music than ever and in so many different and new ways.  This creates enormous opportunities for artists.

“Those who choose to partner with a record company, do so to benefit from the support of agile, highly responsive global teams of experts dedicated to helping them achieve creative and commercial success and build their long-term careers.

“As technologies and the online environment continue to evolve and expand, so too do the creative opportunities to share music experiences.  From the metaverse, to in-game content, record companies have invested in the people and the technologies to deliver new, highly interactive experiences – adding to the evolving ways for artists to make connections with their fans.”Music Business Worldwide

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