Streaming subscriptions boost 2023 recorded music revenues — report

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LONDON — Global recorded music revenues grew for the ninth year running in 2023, increasing 10.2% to $28.6 billion mainly thanks to a rise in paid streaming subscribers, a report said on Thursday.

Paid subscriptions to music streaming services exceeded 500 million globally for the first time, with more than 667 million users of such accounts, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) Global Music Report said.

The body, which represents the recording industry worldwide, said streaming revenues made up most of the total growth, rising 10.4% to $19.3 billion. Subscription streaming revenues rose 11.2%.

Physical format revenues — CDs and vinyl — rose 13.4%, as did those for performance rights, up 9.5%.

Only revenues for downloads and other digital formats fell, down 2.6%.

“The figures in this year’s report reflect a truly global and diverse industry, with revenues growing in every market, every region and across virtually every recorded music format,” John Nolan, IFPI’s chief financial officer and interim joint head, said in a statement. “For the third year in succession, both physical and digital formats grew with a strong rise in the users of paid streaming subscribers — as well as price increases — contributing significantly to total revenue growth.”

Geographically, sub-Saharan Africa saw the fastest growth, with revenues up 24.7%. South Africa, its biggest market, accounted for 77% of regional revenues after growth of nearly 20%.

Latin America followed with revenues up 19.4% in the region’s 14th consecutive year of growth.

Asia, the third largest region globally, saw revenues rise 14.9%, driven by physical format and digital revenues, while the Middle East and North Africa saw an increase of 14.4%, led by streaming. Australasia revenues rose 10.8%.

Europe, the world’s second largest region for music revenues, accounted for more than a quarter of global figures. Its revenues gained 8.9%.

The USA and Canada, representing around 41% of global recorded music revenues, saw a rise of 7.4%.

“The sustained growth of the recorded music market is encouraging,” Lauri Rechardt, IFPI’s chief legal officer and interim joint head, said.

“But it’s also right for us to acknowledge the challenges the industry faces, including streaming fraud, digital piracy… and, of course, the threat from the abuse of generative artificial intelligence if it is not developed responsibly and with respect for artists’ and labels’ rights.”

Last month, the IFPI announced Miley Cyrus’ hit “Flowers” as the world’s best-selling single in 2023 and said K-pop group Seventeen’s FML was the biggest-selling album globally. — Reuters