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GLOBAL MUSIC BIZ UP 9.7% IN 2018

The global music industry grew to $19.1b in 2018, a 9.7% spike, according to the IFPI’s annual State of the Industry Report. The growth owed in part to a 34% rise in streaming, which now accounts for 47% of global revenues. 

The $1.8b increase in revenues last year is the largest rise the industry has seen across the last four years of consecutive growth—2015 stats were up 3.2% over 2014, 2016 was up 5.9% and 2017 rose 8.1%.

In 2018, paid streaming accounted for 37% of total recorded music revenue with 255m users of paid subscription services at the end of 2018. That number was up 32.9%.

Ad-supported streams accounted for 10% of the pie. While streaming's total 47% share is the biggest ever seen, its rate of growth in revenue terms is slowing; in 2015 streaming was up 45.2%, in 2016 60.4% and 2017 41.4%.

Last year, physical revenue dropped 10.1%—the largest dip across the last four years—to account for a 25% share, and downloads were down 21.2% to 12%.

Burgeoning territories continue to rise in value, with Asia and Australasia accounting for four of the Top 10 music markets. Latin America was the fastest growing by 16.8%, followed by Brazil up 15.4% and Mexico rising 14.7%. Japan sits behind the U.S. as the top-earning market, followed by the U.K., Germany and France. South Korea, China, Australia, Canada and Brazil complete the Top 10.

During a press conference in London, WMG International CEO Stu Bergen, left, pointed to a “confidence without complacency” attitude at Warner Music, which is investing increased revenue back into the business and focusing on “new music, new territories and new models.”

Sony International exec Stu Bondell pointed to the opportunity in moving consumers in high potential markets to licensed services, and turning hits from those markets into global hits. “Consumers are open more than ever before to non-English language repertoire; it’s really exciting to be able to say for the first time in history that a hit can come from anywhere.”

On the subject of the growing DIY artist market, Bergen said the challenge and purpose of a record company is to help artists stand out from the 20,000 tracks uploaded per day on SpotifyUMPG’s Adam Granite said the reason superstars are still signing long-term agreements with majors, like The Rolling StonesTaylor Swift and Elton John, is down to deals that extend beyond recorded music.  

IFPI CEO Frances Moore, above right, pledged to continue fighting to preserve the value of music globally. “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.” 

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