Streaming drives global music revenues

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2017 was a stellar year for the recorded music business, according to MIDiA research. Global recorded music revenues reached $17.4 billion in 2017 in trade values, up from $16 billion in 2016, an annual growth rate of 8.5 per cent.

Streaming has, unsurprisingly, been the driver of growth, growing revenues by 39 per cent year-on-year, adding $2.1 billion to reach $7.4 billion, representing 43 per cent of all revenues. The growth was comfortably larger than the $783 million / -10 per cent decline legacy formats (i.e. downloads and physical) collectively experienced.

Universal Music retained its market leadership position in 2017 with revenues of $5.1 million, representing 29.7 per cent of all revenues, followed by Sony Music ($3.6 million / 22.1 per cent), while Warner Music enjoyed the biggest revenue growth rate and market share shift, reaching $3.1 million / 18 per cent. Meanwhile independents delivered $4,798 million representing 27.6 per cent. However, much additional independent sector growth was absorbed by revenue that flowed through digital distribution companies owned by major record labels that were thus reported in major label accounts.


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