News March 16, 2021

The global recorded music business was up $1.5b in 2020 [report]

The global recorded music business was up $1.5b in 2020 [report]

The global recorded music industry generated US$23.1 billion in 2020, despite the pandemic.

This is according to a new report from the UK’s MIDiA Research and signifies new earnings of $1.5 billion after recording 7% growth from 2019.

This came when many releases were delayed, and there was no marketing support from physical retail, touring and live performance royalties as music venues, gyms and bars closed.

“Although the recorded music business experienced a dip in the earlier months of the pandemic, the remainder of the year saw industry revenue rebound,” the report stated.

However, despite the revenue growth, the growth rate for the recorded music business was below the 11% increases seen in both 2018 and 2019.

During the first waves of the pandemic, the collective market share of the three major labels dipped to 65.5% compared to the 66.5% reported in 2019.

MIDiA attributed the growth to a rapid escalation of music streaming take-up, with a 19.6% growth in revenues (representing $2.3 billion), to a grand total of $14.2 billion.

Another trend noted by the report was the 27% growth of the indie sector, with indie labels and self-releasing artists now holding a market share of 31.5%.

The new generation of DIY artists are a success story. MIDiA said they generated $1.2 billion after growing 34.1% and now 5.1% of the market.

They are now increasing their share of the streaming market.

Using Spotify figures, MIDiA estimated that artists direct were up by 28%, those on indie digital service Merlin were flat or down, non-Merlin indies were up by 49% and majors grew by 14%.

As in 2019, artists direct and non-Merlin independents were “the big winners.”

“These two segments represent the new vanguard of streaming-era music strategy, entities that have learned how to use their smaller scale to be agile and play to the unique rhythms of streaming in a way that bigger, more established companies have not.”

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