Reports Music

Recorded Music Market 2019 A Thriving and Transforming Industry

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View:  With five successive years of growth, the recorded music market has transitioned from a recovering industry into a thriving business. The stars are aligning, with growing consumer demand, business model innovation, a golden era for independent artists and surging interest from institutional investors. 2019 more than just picked up where 2018 left off; it was a year of accelerated growth and illustration of a market that, while dominated by streaming, has many other strings to its bow.

Key Insights

  • Global recorded            revenues reached            billion, up            billion            2018
  • Streaming was            the key source of growth,                       year-on-year (YoY) to reach            billion,                       of all label revenues
  • However streaming            slowed compared to 2018, growing            in both percentage and absolute            adding            million less new revenue
  • Legacy formats            and downloads) were down            billion,            half the decline registered in           
  • Universal Music            the big winner in 2019,            more revenue            million) than Warner            and Sony Music combined            million)
  • Sony Music            improved on its 2018 performance                       annual growth, but lost ground            Warner Music which grew by           
  • In 2015            Music’s recorded music revenue was                       of Sony Music’s, and at            end of 2019 it was            just            million separated the two            in 2019
  • Sony Music            the only major to add            streaming revenue in 2019 than            2018
  • Independent label            grew by            outperforming both Sony            Warner
  • Artists direct            the fastest-growing segment again, growing            reach            million, adding more revenue            2019            million) than in 2018           
  • Universal Music            the only major label to            market share in 2019, up                       in 2018 to            for FY            – its highest share since           
  • Artists direct            the only other segment to            overall market share, adding            points            reach            market share
  • Combined, artists            and independent labels had a            share in 2019, up            points            2017 and            points from 2015

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: ADA, Believe, BMG, CD Baby, Concord, Downtown Music Holdings, Fuga, Kobalt, Level, Sony Music, Spotify, Tencent, The Orchard, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group

Methodological notes: 

  1. All revenue            referenced in this report are            USD with all conversions from            currencies calculated taking the average            exchange rate for each quarter            the year. No constant currency            are used in this report.
  2. Independent revenue            measured on a distribution basis,            an ownership basis. Therefore, independent            that is distributed via a            record label or a wholly            major label distributor will appear            the revenue of the respective            record label