The amount of money invested in new music services and companies in 2015 was double that invested the year before.
Despite high-profile casualties littering the roadside, investors have not been scared off (yet) and still regard digital music as something worth backing.
Analysis for this week’s Music Ally report shows that just shy of $1bn ($947m) was invested into 33 different music companies in 2014, but that in 2015 that increased to just under $2bn for 36 companies.
Leading the pack in 2015 was Spotify, with a staggering $526m investment. This was by far the single biggest of Spotify’s eight investment rounds since it was founded, equal to around a third of the $1.56bn the company has raised so far.
To put that in context, one service on its own accounted for more than a quarter of all major investments that year. Spotify alone attracted more investment than the four biggest investments of 2014 combined.
In 2015, the biggest music investments were not all around western companies, though. In 2015, Indian music services Hungama and Saavn each scored $100m in investment, suggesting investors are seeing huge potential for digital music in the second most populous nation in the world.
That followed big investments in South Korea in 2014: $104m in streaming service KKBOX, plus talent firms SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment attracting $90m and $80m respectively.
It is hugely encouraging to see that music remains an attractive category for investors, contrary to the view a few years ago that the perils of dealing with rightsholders would put most investors off the sector.
However, there are clouds gathering in 2016, with VCs expected to rein in their wallets due to a mixture of global economic uncertainty, an expected slowdown in China and possible interest-rate increases.
The pressure on potential ‘unicorn’ music companies like Spotify and SoundCloud to exit via IPO (or acquisition) has never been greater – not least to boost investor confidence in the startups emerging lower down the music ecosystem.