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State of the music creator economy Post-lockdown growth

Report by Mark Mulligan, Kriss Thakrar and Tatiana Cirisano
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20,000 foot view:  The Covid pandemic created a unique catalyst for the music creator economy. More time on hands and more cash in pockets gave novices and veterans alike the opportunity to spend both more time and money making music. Though the pandemic was a peak, it also marked the start of a new era for the music creator economy across every one of its aspects, from revenue to creation to remuneration. This report presents an end-to-end assessment of today’s music creator tools marketplace.

Key insights 

SECTION ONE: The top of the funnel

  • As of                       of consumers played an instrument,            by            points from            2021, showing            long-term impact of the lockdown           
  •            million people either play an instrument or plan to learn, representing the total addressable market (TAM) for creator tools
  • The number            creators uploading and sharing directly            grew by            while those self-releasing            streaming grew by just           
  • Younger creators            going from            faster than ever,            by simplified tools, more sounds,            skills sharing
  • More than            active buyers of musical instruments            the entering the creator tools           

SECTION TWO: Music creators

  • Proficiency increases            with age, with just            of            themselves as being advanced compared                       of           
  • The average            music creator professional earns            while            pros earn           
  • Ableton Live            the most widely used DAW            among electronic music producers, followed            Reaper            and Cubase           
  • Audio interfaces            / MIDI controller keyboards            and                       are the most widely owned            used hardware


  • Music creators            an average of            on creator            meaning that they spend roughly            dollar for every five that            earn
  • Expenditure has            inverse correlation with proficiency –            spend            times their music income,            to only            for advanced creators
  • Total music            tools software and services revenue                       billion in 2021, across learning,            production, sounds, funding, commerce, distribution,            and commercial

SECTION FOUR: Market outlook

  • The base            music creators (those who produce            / or record) will grow                       million in 2021 to            million            2030
  • Subscriptions represented            all software, sounds and services            in 2021            million) and will            to            billion, with            million subscribers            an average of            a year
  • DAWs revenue            go from            million in 2021                       billion in 2030, plugins and            will go from            million to            sounds will go from            million                       billion, and skills and learning            go from            million to            billion
  • Keyboards, synths            grooveboxes was the second largest            category in 2021, with            billion,            will decrease by            to reach            in 2030
  • Music production            was the largest segment, with            of            billion, and will outpace            market, growing by            to reach            by 2030

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  Ableton, Akai, Allen & Heath, Amp, Amuse Fast Forward, Apple, Apple Loops, Arcade, Armin van Buuren, Avid, BandLab, Bandzoogle, Beatclub, Beatport, BeatStars, Cakewalk, CD Baby, Coursera, Create Music Group, Creative Intell, Cubase,            Distrokid, Elk, Fiverr, Focusrite, Fender, Fender Play, Flux, Fortnite, FL Studio, Google, Hi Fi, IK Multimedia, Instagram, iRig, iZotope, Kickstarter, LANDR, Linkfire, Live, Logic Pro, Loopcloud, Mackie, MAG Signature Sounds, Masterclass, Merchbar, meta, Musika, NetEase Cloud Music, Output, Pandora, Patreon, Plugin Alliance, Play Virtuoso, PreSonus, ProCollabs, Producer Tech, ProTools, Reaper, Reels, RightsHUB, Roblox, Scarlett, Session Studio, Shorts, Songsplits, SoundBetter, SoundCloud, Soundtrap, Spitfire Audio, Splice, Splits, Spotify, Square, Stem, Studio One, TakeLessons, Tidal, TikTok, Tracklib, TuneCore, Twitch, Twitter, Udemy, Ultimate Guitar, United Masters, Universal Audio, VIP Pelian, Waves Audio, YouTube

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