Recorded music sales reach record high: global retail value to reach $41B in 2023

According to the latest figures released by Omdia, the global retail value of recorded music sales is set to reach an all-time high this year. Sales are projected to increase by 7.8%, from $38.1 billion in 2022 to $41 billion in 2023. This upward trend in the music industry is expected to continue in the coming years. Retail sales are estimated to reach $49.8 billion by 2027.

It’s important to note that these record-breaking figures are based on nominal values. When adjusted for inflation, the total sales in 1999 would be a staggering $70 billion in today’s economy. Omdia’s research includes consumer spending on physical and digital formats and services, as well as trade revenue from advertising, performance rights, and synchronization.

The growth in the music industry will largely be driven by subscriptions and streaming services. Subscription sales are predicted to rise by 10.1% this year, reaching $24.4 billion, and are projected to surpass $31 billion by 2027. Furthermore, digital music advertising revenue is expected to surpass that of physical formats for the first time in 2025.

Simon Dyson, Omdia’s Senior Principal Analyst for Music and Digital Audio, emphasised the increasing dominance of subscriptions and streaming in these forecasts. More and more consumers are opting for platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, resulting in a continuous rise in retail sales. However, Dyson cautions that while streaming sales will continue to grow in the next five years, the global growth rate by the end of the forecast period will be less than half of what it was initially.

Omdia accurately predicted last year that China would surpass France and claim the fifth spot in the global music sales ranking in 2022. Now, their research indicates that sales in China, the world’s most populous country, will surpass those of both the UK and Germany by 2025, elevating China to the third position globally.

Additionally, retail sales in China are expected to surpass the $3 billion mark in 2026, and the country’s share of global retail sales will reach 6.7% the following year. Looking further into the future, Omdia believes that China could potentially surpass Japan and claim the second spot by 2030.

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