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Recorded Music Market 2018 Stream Engine

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View: For the fourth consecutive year, recorded music revenues grew again in 2018 with streaming revenue the engine room of growth. For the first time, streaming became the majority of label revenue and its growth continues to outpace the decline of legacy formats. Major label rankings remained unchanged in 2018 but the majors enjoyed varying fortunes and the continued meteoric rise of artists direct, i.e. artists without record labels, points to market transforming changes that are reshaping the entire business of record labels.

Key Findings

  • Global recorded music revenues reached XXX billion, up XXX billion from 2017
  • Streaming was the key driver of growth, up XXX year-on-year to reach XXX billion, representing XXX of all label revenues
  • Legacy formats (physical and downloads) were down XXX billion, which was more than the XXX billion lost in 2017
  • Universal Music remained the largest label group in 2018 with annual revenues of XXX billion, followed by Sony Music XXX billion) and Warner Music XXX billion)
  • Universal added more revenue than any other label group: XXX billion, an increase of XXX well above the market average of XXX direct was the fastest growing segment again, increasing by XXX to reach XXX billion
  • Independent labels generated XXX million, in part reflecting independent revenue distributed by major labels
  • Universal and Warner Music both gained XXX points of market share, up to XXX and XXX respectively
  • As in 2017, artists direct was the biggest market share gainer, up XXX points to XXX labels collectively accounted for XXX in 2018, down XXX points on 2017

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Apple, CD Baby, Sony Music, Tencent Music Entertainment, Tunecore, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group

Methodological XXX All revenue values referenced in this report are in USD with all conversions from local currencies calculated taking the average quarterly exchange rate for each quarter of the year. No constant currency values are used in this XXX Independent revenue is measured on a distribution basis, not an ownership basis. Therefore, independent revenue that is distributed via a major record label or a wholly owned major label distributor will appear in the revenue of the respective major record label.

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