According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) Global Music Report 2018, music sales grew for the third consecutive year in 2017 with streaming now the single major revenue source for the record industry.
2017 saw a rise in sales by 8.1 percent to $17.3 billion and total digital income account for more than half of all trade revenue (54 percent) for the first time. The worldwide increase in streaming consumption was fundamental for the growth with the number of subscribers rising to 176 million across all markets (64 million of which were added in 2017).
IFPI CEO Frances Moore’s comments reflected both cautious optimism and warning. “It’s been another incredibly exciting year for music. The work and investment from record companies is enabling brilliant, diverse artists to break through to fans around the world, soundtracking their lives and bringing them progressively rich and immersive ways to enjoy the music they love.”
Users of ad-supported services lifted the total music streaming audience to 272 million users, generating $5.6 billion in trade revenue (up 41 percent year-on-year). Streaming for the first time as the leading source of income for record companies, making up over 33 percent of all music sales. When consumption on video platforms such as YouTube is factored in, streaming made up 38 percent of record label revenues.
“The industry is on a positive path of recovery but it’s very clear that the race is far from won,” she continued. “Record companies are continuing in their efforts to put the industry back onto a stable path and, to that end, we are continuing our campaign to fix the value gap. This is not just essential for music to thrive in today’s global market, but to create the right – fair – environment for it to do so in the future.”
As a consequence, physical sales fell by just over 5 percent to $5.2 billion, accounting for 30 percent of the global market. Download revenues slipped by 21 percent to $1.8 billion. In 32 markets, digital revenues now account for more than half of all music sales, said IFPI.
As per previous years, Latin America remained the region with the highest level of growth, recording an 18 percent rise, driven by 49 percent increase in streaming revenues. The music market in Asia and Australasia climbed over by 5 percent, this is the third year of consecutive growth.