Italy’s recorded music revenues grew 14.2% in H1, with 19 of the Top 20 best-selling albums all by local acts

Photo credit: Tommaso Ottomano
MÅNESKIN's RUSH! was one of the Top 10 best selling albums in Italy in the first six months of the year
MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by music data analytics firm Chartmetric.

Recorded music revenues in Italy grew 14.2% YoY in the first half of this year to €175 million.

That’s according to stats published today (August 29) by FIMI, the organization that represents the Italian recorded music industry, and whose members include Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music and BMG.

Italy’s H1 recorded music revenues were up €22 million on the €153 million generated in H1 2022.

Digging deeper into FIMI’s latest results for the Italian recorded music market shows that Italy’s revenues generated from streaming reached €139 million in the first six months of 2023, up 16% YoY.

Within the streaming segment, revenues from subscription streaming grew 18.2% YoY, while revenues from ad-supported streams grew 22.9% YoY. There was a decrease of 0.5% YoY for revenues from video streaming.

Streaming accounted for 81% of the entire recorded music market in Italy in H1 (see below).

Elsewhere in Italy, FIMI reports that the physical music sector, including vinyl and CDs, now has a 17% share of the entire recorded music market. Physical revenues in Italy in H1 grew 9.4% YoY.

FIMI reports that this growth within the physical music sector was driven by vinyl sales, which grew by 14.3% YoY.

FIMI also notes that it saw “a trend reversal” for the CD in H1 2023, with that format’s revenues growing by 5.3% YoY in the first six months of the year.

We’ve previously written about the dominance of Italian repertoire on the charts in Italy, and the first six months of 2023 saw a continuation of this trend in the market.

All 10 of the Top 10 albums for the first half of the year were released by local acts, led by hip-hop star Geolier’s Il coraggio dei bambini – Atto II (Columbia), which was the best-selling album in the market in H1. Rounding off the Top 10 was MÅNESKIN’s RUSH! (Epic).

In fact, as you can see from the H1 albums chart for Italy below, the highest-charting non-Italian language album in the country in H1, at No.17, was Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (Warner Music), which was released 50 years ago, in 1973. Within the Top 20, only that one album was by a non-local artist.

The second-highest non-Italian language album in H1, at No.23, was Un Verano Sin Ti (Rimas Entertainment) by Bad Bunny.

The Top 10 of the singles chart, while not entirely comprised of Italian-language music, was dominated by local acts in H1, with eight of the Top 10 singles in the market released by Italian acts. The best-selling single in Italy in the first half of the year was Cenere (Island), from rapper Lazza.

The highest charting non-local language act in Italy in H1 was Bizarrap and Quevedo’s Quevedo: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 52  (Dale Play Records) at No.5 (see below).

The other non-Italian language single in the Top 10 in Italy in H1 was  Miley Cyrus’ Flowers (RCA), which came in at No.8.

Commenting on the market’s H1 results, Enzo Mazza, the CEO of FIMI in Italy, told MBW: “Despite a complex economic situation in Italy, the music market outperformed the expectations confirming the reality of a definitive transition to streaming.

“The culture bonus helped keep the physical segment afloat and the unwavering strong performance of Italian repertoire contributed to this result.”

“Despite a complex economic situation in Italy, the music market outperformed the expectations confirming the reality of a definitive transition to streaming.”

Enzo Mazza, FIMI

The dominance of local acts on local charts is not a trend that’s specific to Italy.

Earlier this year, on the MBW Podcast, Will Page, the ex-Chief Economist of both Spotify and UK collection society PRS For Music spoke about the ‘Glocalization’ of music, a concept outlined in a paper he co-authored and published by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

‘Glocalization’ is centered around the theory that as an industry, music is more global than ever, but when you zoom in on many individual markets around the world, their most-popular artists and charting tracks are becoming increasingly localized.

One of the examples offered by Page to illustrate this concept is that in Poland, “the Top 10 [acts there today] are Polish, the Top 40 is pretty much all Polish – but they’re Polish acts doing hip-hop, which is an American genre”. Page adds: “So we’ve seen the localization of the [artists], but the globalization of the genre itself.”

The trend around English language music’s positioning globally and the rise of non-English language music on global charts was also highlighted in the mid-year music report from market monitor Luminate, which showed that English language music is becoming statistically less popular on music streaming services globally and in the United States.

Meanwhile, on an H1 earnings call with analysts earlier this month, Believe CEO Denis Ladegaillerie also referenced this trend. According to Ladegaillerie, “data is showing [Believe] that the market share of local artists is increasing on all digital music services”.

That rise in homegrown artists’ share of streams isn’t just happening on Spotify, Ladegaillerie explained, but also “on YouTube and other services”.

In response to this trend, Ladegaillerie explained that Believe is “continuing to invest in developing local artists in markets across a wide range of genres of music”.

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