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Driven by Streaming, Global Recorded-Music Revenues Soar to $19.1 Billion

The global recorded music market grew by 9.7% in 2018 — its fourth consecutive year of growth — to $19.1 billion, according the latest annual report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Streaming revenue grew by 34.0% and accounted for almost half (47%) of global revenue, powered by a 32.9% increase in paid subscription streaming, according to the report. There were 255 million users of paid streaming services at the end of 2018, with paid streaming accounting for 37% of total recorded music revenue. Growth in streaming more than offset a 10.1% decline in physical revenue and a 21.2% decline in download revenue.

Streaming in North America was up by 14%, though that was down from 2017’s 17.1%.

Looking at individual markets, for the fourth consecutive year, Latin America was the fastest-growing region (+16.8%) with Brazil (+15.4%) and Mexico (+14.7%) growing strongly. The Asia and Australasia region (+11.7%) grew to become the second-largest region for combined physical and digital revenue, with especially strong growth in South Korea (+17.9%).

The top 10 markets are, in order, the U.S., Japan, the U.K., Germany, France, South Korea, China, Australia, Canada and Brazil.

The IFPI previously named Drake as the biggest recording artist of 2018, while “The Greatest Showman” was the top-selling album and Camila Cabello’s “Havana” was the biggest global single of the year.

“Last year represented the fourth consecutive year of growth, driven by great music from incredible artists in partnership with talented, passionate people in record companies around the world,” said Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI.

“Record companies continue their investment in artists, people and innovation both in established markets and developing regions that are increasingly benefitting from being part of today’s global music landscape.

“As music markets continue to develop and evolve, it is imperative that the appropriate legal and business infrastructure is in place to ensure that music is fairly valued, and that the revenues are returned to rights holders to support the next cycle of development.”

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