Reports Music

Recorded music market 2020 Pandemic-era growth

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View:  The global pandemic turned the music industry upside down. While live was decimated throughout 2020, after an initial downturn, the recorded music market returned to growth and finished the year with an acceleration that suggests a strong 2021 lies ahead.

Key Insights

  • Recorded music            grew to            billion in 2020            a pandemic slowdown. Revenues were                       and            billion compared to growth                       billion and            in 2019
  • In            2020,            revenues were down            year-on-year (YoY)            by            were up            suggesting a            2021 if that momentum is           
  • Streaming was            the key source of growth,                       to reach            billion, representing            of            label revenues, although the majors            a group grew slightly slower            the market
  • For the            successive year, the major labels            streaming revenue increase by less            the prior year, up            billion            2020 compared to            billion in           
  • Sony Music            the fastest major label streaming            up            while artists direct increased            revenue by           
  • Streaming was            only revenue source to grow            2020 with other revenue (predominately            and sync) down by            in            hit hard by the pandemic
  • The major            saw collective market share fall                       in 2019 to            in 2020            artists direct the main beneficiary,            market share to           
  • Sony Music            the fastest growing major, increasing            by            to reach            billion

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: ADA, AWAL, Sony Music, The Orchard, Universal Music Group, Virgin Music Label & Artists Services, Warner Music Group

Methodological notes:

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.

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.