Reports Music

Recorded Music Market 2019 A Thriving and Transforming Industry

Report by Mark Mulligan
Cover image for Recorded Music Market 2019
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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 music revenues reached XXX billion, up XXX billion from 2018
  • Streaming was again the key source of growth, up XXX year-on-year (YoY) to reach XXX billion, representing XXX of all label revenues
  • However streaming growth slowed compared to 2018, growing less in both percentage and absolute terms, adding XXX million less new revenue
  • Legacy formats (physical and downloads) were down XXX billion, nearly half the decline registered in 2018
  • Universal Music was the big winner in 2019, adding more revenue XXX million) than Warner Music and Sony Music combined XXX million)
  • Sony Music significantly improved on its 2018 performance with XXX annual growth, but lost ground to Warner Music which grew by XXX 2015 Warner Music’s recorded music revenue was just XXX of Sony Music’s, and at the end of 2019 it was XXX – just XXX million separated the two labels in 2019
  • Sony Music was the only major to add more streaming revenue in 2019 than in 2018
  • Independent label revenue grew by XXX outperforming both Sony and Warner
  • Artists direct was the fastest-growing segment again, growing XXX to reach XXX million, adding more revenue in 2019 XXX million) than in 2018 XXX million)
  • Universal Music was the only major label to gain market share in 2019, up from XXX in 2018 to XXX for FY 2019 – its highest share since 2015
  • Artists direct was the only other segment to gain overall market share, adding XXX points to reach XXX market share
  • Combined, artists direct and independent labels had a XXX market share in 2019, up XXX points from 2017 and XXX 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 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 report.
  2. 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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