Even as enthusiasts increasingly subscribe to music, streaming content has taken the music industry by storm, and now represents 40% of the overall global recorded music industry revenues, according to a report by IFPI. The growth is phenomenal, as the revenues were insignificant just six years ago. In 2011, the streaming generated $0.2 billion in total (across audio, video, ad-free and subscription). In 2017, the figure has gone up to $6.6 billion, representing 38.2% of the overall revenues.
Global recorded music industry revenues grew by 8.1% to hit $17.3 billion in 2017. Interestingly, streaming alone grew by more than 40.4% in the year. The growth in streaming comes at a time when revenues from physical formats for accessing music are on a sharp decline. In its sixth consecutive year of decline, physical content declined by 5.4%, a slightly higher rate than the previous year’s 4.4%.
“Consumption of physical formats declined in the majority of markets, but physical revenue still accounted for 30% of the global market and a higher percentage of market share in countries such as Japan (72%) and Germany (43%),” the report noted.
Interestingly, digital revenues also grew 19.1% to $ 9.4 billion and, for the first time ever, accounted for over half (54%) of total recorded music industry revenues worldwide. The report attributed this growth to a global surge in streaming which were up 41.1%, with paid subscription and audio streams up 45.5%. “Following a 20.5% decline in revenue, digital downloads accounted for 20% of global digital revenue overall. In 32 markets, digital revenues now account for more than half the recorded music market with six further countries crossing the threshold last year,” said the report. The global recorded revenues has registered one of the fastest growth rates the industry has seen since IFPI began tracking industry sales in 1997.