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  • Writer's pictureMusic Royalties Inc.


The Weeknd's Blinding Lights was the biggest Digital Single in 2020, according to IFPI

The official numbers are in: The global recorded music market grew by 7.4% in 2020, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth – with that year of growth of course taking place during a worldwide pandemic.

That’s according to IFPI, the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, which published its annual Global Music Report today (March 23) revealing that global recorded music revenues reached $21.6 billion in 2020.

Growth was driven by streaming, especially by paid subscription streaming revenues, which increased by 18.5%.

IFPI reports that there were 443 million users of paid subscription music streaming accounts at the end of 2020. Total streaming (including both paid subscription and ad-supported) grew 19.9% year-over-year and reached $13.4bn, or 62.1% of total global recorded music revenues. The growth in streaming revenues more than offset the decline in other formats’ revenues, including physical revenues which declined 4.7% and revenues from performance rights which declined 10.1% – largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recorded music revenues grew in every global region around the world in 2020, including Latin America, which maintained its position as the fastest-growing region globally (15.9%). Streaming revenues grew by 30.2% in Latin America and accounted for 84.1% of the region’s total revenues.

In Asia, revenues grew 9.5% and digital revenues surpassed a 50% share of the region’s total revenues, for the first time.

Excluding Japan (which saw a decline of 2.1% in revenue), Asia would have been the fastest-growing region, with exceptional growth of 29.9%.

A record-breaking year for K-Pop, 2020 saw South Korea’s recorded music market grow 44.8% compared to 2019.

Featured as a region in the report for the first time, recorded music revenues in the Africa & Middle East region increased by 8.4%, driven primarily by the Middle East & North Africa region (37.8%). Streaming dominated, with revenues up 4%.

Meanwhile, revenues in Europe, the second-largest recorded music region in the world, grew by 3.5% as strong streaming growth of 20.7% offset declines in all other consumption formats.

The US and Canada region grew 4% in 2020, with the US market up 7.3% and Canadian recorded music revenues grew by 8.1%.

IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore, said: “As the world contends with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of the enduring power of music to console, heal and lift our spirits.

“Some things are timeless, like the power of a great song or the connection between artists and fans. But some things have changed. With so much of the world in lockdown and live music shut down, in nearly every corner of the globe most fans enjoyed music via streaming.

“Fuelled by record companies’ ongoing investment in artists and their careers, along with innovative efforts to help artists bring music to fans in new ways, recorded music revenues grew globally for the sixth consecutive year, driven by subscription streaming.

“As record companies continue to expand their geographical footprint and cultural reach, music has become more globally connected today, than ever before and this growth has spread across all regions around the globe.

“With many impacted by the pandemic, and concerned with growing social injustices, record companies have worked hard to make a meaningful, lasting contribution to the world we want to live in.”

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