The major labels are now earning $150 from streaming every single second

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Universal, Sony and Warner’s record labels turned over more than $1bn from streaming in the first quarter of this year – generating nearly $150 from the likes of Spotify and Apple Music every single second.

Like, literally – chuck in some extra waffle between parenthesis here to postpone your arrival at the next full stop – and they’ve already earned $2,000+ just in the time it’s taken you to read the past two sentences.

According to MBW analysis, the trio of companies’ recorded music divisions cumulatively generated $1.13bn from streaming in the three months to end of March.

(If you were wondering, this jointly works out at around $12.5m per day and $523,000 per hour.)


Universal Music Group claimed a 44% market share of this money, thanks to the €467m ($498m) it earned from streaming in the period.

As a result, UMG enjoyed its biggest Q1 in 15 years in the quarter, with streaming contributing 46% of total revenues.

(Omit licensing and merchandise cash – creating a fair fight between physical sales, digital sales and streaming – and streaming claimed 55% of UMG’s recorded music money in Q1, with physical on 27% and download on 18%.)

Sony Music turned over 37.79bn Yen ($332m) in streaming revenues in calendar Q1 2017, grabbing a major label market share of 29%.

And Warner punched above its weight with $300m in streaming cash – representing 27% of the total pie.

(All dollar figures here have been calculated using the Q1 2017 prevailing average exchange rate.)


Interestingly, MBW estimates that UMG, Sony and Warner turned over $824m in streaming revenue in the same period of the prior year (Q1 2016).

UMG had a smaller market share of 41% (€307m / $339m), with Sony on 34% (32.02bn Yen / $278m).

US-based Warner’s steaming haul in the first quarter of 2016 was officially $207m, representing a 25% share amongst the majors.

That all essentially means Universal has grown its global Q1 major label streaming market share by 3% over the past year, with Warner’s climbing by 2%.

Most importantly, the overall first-quarter streaming revenues flowing into all of the majors have grown by 37% – or $306m – in the past year.

(All dollar figures here have been calculated using the Q1 2016 prevailing average exchange rate.)


So how big was the total recorded music streaming market in Q1 2017 – including the independent sector?

Take this as a rough estimate, but somewhere in the region of $1.5bn.

To get to that figure, we’ve used Music & Copyright’s recent estimate that the indies claimed a 24.4% market share of global digital recorded music revenues in 2016.

Some fun guesswork: considering that 2017’s quarterly streaming hauls will – barring a miracle – continue to grow at a pace throughout this year, it’s fair to forecast that the global industry’s total annual recorded music streaming revenues should top $7bn by the end of 2017.

That would have made up 45% of last year’s overall global market revenues of $15.7bn.

Fingers crossed, eh?Music Business Worldwide

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