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Music creator tools forecast Moving towards a hybrid future

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Once upon a time, music software and hardware were distinct market segments, but now they are increasingly fusing into a network of hybrid creator tools ecosystems. Standalone hardware still has a vibrant future, but the real momentum lies with software, sounds, services and the hardware that supports them.

Key Insights

  • The music creator tools landscape maps to six segments: instruments; production, software and sounds; services; label services; distribution; audience
  • The key market drivers are: the creator renaissance; streaming’s potential; the computer music boom. Its inhibitors are: complexity; streaming economics; creator clutter
  • Music software, sounds and hardware sales grew by        in 2020, to reach        billion
  • Hardware accounted for the vast majority        of revenues in 2020, but software, sounds and services grew faster        compared to       
  • Total revenues will grow by        by 2028, reaching        billion, with software, sounds and services growing fastest        compared to        for hardware)
  • The market for music production software, sounds and services was worth        billion in 2020, with plugins + VSTs being the largest single segment, representing       
  • Sounds revenue was worth        million in 2020 – its        growth from 2019 is second only to services. Revenues will more than double to        million by 2028  
  • The music software, sounds and services sector will pass majority subscription by 2026, and reach        of the total by 2028 
  • The combined music making hardware segment grew by        in 2020 to reach        billion, following a decline of        in 2019
  • Music production hardware was worth        billion in 2020, up by        from 2019, and will grow by        by 2028 to reach        billion
  • Synthesisers sales will go from        million in 2020 to        million in 2028, an increase of       

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Algonaut, Apple, Arcade, Arturia, Atlas, Auxy, Avid, AWAL, Bandcamp, BandLab, Battery, Beatport, Discord, Elektron, Endless, Etsy, Garageband, Kobalt, Landr, Loopcloud, Native Instruments, Music Maker JAM, Netflix, Output, Reddit, Reverb, Roland, Sony Music, Soundbetter, Soundcloud, Soundstorming, Soundtrap, Splice, Spotify, Teenage Engineering, TikTok, Voisey, YouTube, Zenbeats 

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