The IFPI isn’t due to announce its official industry figures for 2016 until later in the year, but Midia Research has got in early with its own estimates, which suggest hugely-encouraging growth for the recorded-music market last year.

The company claims the market was worth $16.1bn in 2016, up 7% year-on-year with $1.1bn of additional revenue.

“By far the largest growth the recorded music business has experienced since Napster and co pushed revenues into free fall, as Midia’s blog post put it.

“While it is too early to state that the corner has been turned, this is clearly a turning point of some form for the business. Underpinning the growth was streaming which grew by 57% in 2016 to reach $5.4 billion, up from $3.5 billion in 2015.”

Midia’s analysis is based partly on the public figures of the three major labels, who between them generated $11bn of gross revenue in 2016. It estimates that independent labels thus generated $5.1bn last year, taking a 31.3% share of the global market – ahead of largest major Universal Music’s 28.9%.

Midia warned that these figures “do not include any corrections for any independent revenues that are recognised by major labels because they are distributed by majors or major owned distributors”, with indie body WIN preparing its own report to break down those numbers, in what’s become a long-running sore point for the independent community.

The research also highlights Spotify’s role in the overall industry growth. “Spotify has been key to this growth, accounting for 43% of the 106.3 million subscribers at the end of 2016,” suggested Midia.

“2017 should see further strong streaming growth with another 40.3 million subscribers added, more than the 38.8 added in 2016.”

It cited Deezer and Apple Music as “strong” contributors to growth in 2016, while hailing Amazon for having “upped its game” too.

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