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The Global Music Market Reached $26bn in 2021

2021 saw the global music market grow the fastest it ever had since records were first established in the 90s. Revenues soared by 18.5% to $25.9bn.

At the core of the growth was music streaming, which accounted for 65% of total revenue thanks to 523 million paid subscribers. This is a huge jump from 2020’s 443 million.

The remaining 35% of revenue is made up of CD, vinyl and cassette sales (19%), downloads (4%) and royalty payments and licencing music to TV shows, movies and adverts.

The global industry has seen consecutive growth over the last 7 years according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Credit: IFPI

In an interview with the BBC, chief executive Frances Moore said that the numbers are “hugely encouraging”.

“We lived through that dire period after 1999 where the industry declined by 40%.”

“We didn’t envisage we’d be in a situation [this year] where we report on 60 or 70 countries and every single one is in growth.”

While revenue grew in every industry other than digital downloads, and streaming has become massively successful, it’s record labels rather than artists that are seeing the profits.

Paul Pacifico of the Association of Independent Music expressed his concerns, saying “It is good to see continued growth across the global music market… but it serves as an important reminder that not everyone is feeling the benefit,”

“[without clear support] it will remain very difficult to reconcile the positive numbers in the market as a whole with the hard reality of making a life in music at an individual, human level”.

Despite IFPI record labels pulling out of Russia, the fifth biggest music market in Europe, this only accounts for 1.3% of global revenue and is not set to drastically affect the market.

BTS were the biggest selling artist for the second time in a row, topping the US Billboard Chart three times, and receiving a Grammy nomination. Taylor Swift and Adele closely followed.

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