The Global Recorded Music Industry Grew By $1.5 Billion in 2020

Image credit: Bad Bunny (most streamed artist on Spotify) via Musicbusinessworldwide

In spite of a pandemic and lockdowns across the globe the global recorded music industry grew by $1.5 billion in 2020.

As we turn a corner in the coronavirus pandemic and live music appears to be on the horizon it’s hard to imagine a time where that was but a fever dream. Since the pandemic started back last year the music industry has been in a state of limbo, particularly the live sector. Record stores had to close their doors or change their business model to suit online orders, gigs ceased and artists fell into a slump with no place to play. 

However, in spite of all this, in spite of facing such uncertainty, the global recorded music industry grew by $1.5 billion, according to Midia Research. The report included majors, indies, and DIY artists. Each one generating wholesale/trade revenues throughout 2020. 

Midia’s figures suggest that the recorded music business saw revenues of $23.1 billion in the year, up 7% on 2019. 

Talking on the report Midia notes: “Although the [worldwide] recorded music business experienced a dip in the earlier months of the pandemic, the remainder of the year saw industry revenue rebound.”

The rebound could even lead to a strong 2021, this is based on recorded music businesses quarterly revenues bouncing up 15% YoY in Q4 2020. 

In addition to this global annual recorded music streaming revenues grew faster on a monetary basis in 2020 than they did in 2019. According to Midia streaming revenues grew by $2.3bn (+19.6%) to $14.2bn in 2020. 

Interestingly, one area that saw great growth was the DIY artist sector, with artists using services like Routenote, which generated a total of $1.2 billion globally in 2020. 

Hopefully, with the pandemic coming to a (hopeful) close and lockdown restrictions easing the music industry will return stronger than ever, these figures certainly suggest so. 

Music journalist and photojournalist based in Cornwall.

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