Around 255 million people worldwide were paying for a subscription to a music streaming service such as Spotify or Apple Music at the end of 2018 – 32.9% more than in 2017.
That’s according to figures released today (April 2) by IFPI, the organization that represents the global recorded music industry, which states that paid streaming drove global music market growth of 9.7% in 2018, to $19.1 billion.
Last year marked the global recorded music market’s fourth consecutive year of growth.
Paid streaming accounted for 37% of total global recorded music revenue in 2018, according to the IFPI Global Music Report 2019, which also shows that total streaming revenue grew by 34% and accounted for almost half (47%) of all global revenue.
Meanwhile, physical revenue declined 10.1%, while download revenue was down 21.2%.
The Top 10 recording artists in 2018 were Drake (pictured), BTS, Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Eminem, Queen, Imagine Dragons, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars.
Some of the key themes in the report are emerging or ‘high potential markets’ and the global success of local repertoire from the likes of Latin America and South Korea.
Latin America was the fastest-growing region (+16.8%) with Brazil (+15.4%) and Mexico (+14.7%) growing strongly.
The Asia and Australasia region (+11.7%) grew to become the second-largest region for combined physical and digital revenue, with especially strong growth in South Korea (+17.9%).
North America saw another year of double digit growth, increasing by 14% – slightly lower than in 2017 however, which saw growth of 17.1%.
Europe posted growth of just 0.1% in 2018, with the likes of Sweden and Norway growing 2.8% and 1.7% respectively, and Austria and Ireland seeing growth of 20% and 7.5% respectively.
The launch event for the report in London today (April 2) featured a panel of executives including Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI; Glen Barros, Chief Operating Officer, Concord Music; Stu Bondell, Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, International Sony Music Entertainment; Adam Granite, Executive Vice President, Market Development, Universal Music Group and Stu Bergen, CEO, International and Global Commercial Services, Warner Music Group.
Stu Bergen, WMG
Bergen said: “We’ve increased our signing everywhere in the world, both in numbers and in dollars.
“In the last 12 months we’ve opened affiliates in the Middle East, Latin America as well as partnered with major independents in Turkey and Nigeria just recently.
“We are trying to continue to extend the reach for our artists that are signed as well as open up new markets to tap into creative talent all over the world.”
Adam Granite, UMG
Granite added: “More music is being enjoyed by more fans around the world than we ever imagined which is incredibly exciting. It all starts with the music.
“It all comes from that, and our role really is help foster and build on that and to help artists connect with fans and achieve the greatest creative and commercial success possible. It’s hard work and it really requires vision and investment and it’s working.
“Just look at some of the range of growth we are seeing across the world, across Asia and Latin America, from South Korea to Brazil.
“And it’s not just large markets, we are seeing growth in Africa, in the Middle East, and as we see further penetration of smartphones, increased access to services, better payment methods, we expect this diverse growth to continue into the future.”
“We are seeing now in a streaming world that the global consumer is open much more than ever before to non-English language repertoire.”
Stu Bondell, Sony Music
Bondell added: “The good news is that we now have foundations in place for legitimate markets in many places of the world.
“The task for the industry now is to move consumers in the high potential markets to licensed services and the licensed services need to reflect the local economic and cultural conditions in each market.
“The rise in streaming is creating two big opportunities for the high potential markets. The first is a local opportunity, and that’s to continue the progress we are seeing in moving customers to licensed services and thereby growing the pie for everybody.
“The second big opportunity is to be able to take a hit emerging from one of the high opportunity markets and turn it into a global hit. We are seeing now in a streaming world that the global consumer is open much more than ever before to non-English language repertoire.”
Frances Moore, IFPI
Frances Moore, said: “Last year represented the fourth consecutive year of growth, driven by great music from incredible artists in partnership with talented, passionate people in record companies around the world.
“Record companies continue their investment in artists, people and innovation both in established markets and developing regions that are increasingly benefitting from being part of today’s global music landscape.
“As music markets continue to develop and evolve, it is imperative that the appropriate legal and business infrastructure is in place to ensure that music is fairly valued, and that the revenues are returned to rights holders to support the next cycle of development.
“We continue to work for the respect and recognition of music copyright around the world, and for the resolution of the value gap by establishing a level playing field for negotiating a fair deal for those who create music. Above all, we are working to ensure that music continues its exciting, global journey.”Music Business Worldwide