The IFPI has now postponed the planned release of its Global Music Report on 24 March, but it is continuing to reveal some of the league tables from its stats section.

Taylor Swift was the top global artist of 2019, and Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ was the top single. The top album, revealed yesterday, may be more of a surprise – to western readers at least.

Japanese band Arashi took top spot with their compilation album ‘5×20 All the BEST!! 1999-2019’ with combined sales of 3.3m units. Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ was second (3.2m sales), followed by BTS’s ‘Map Of The Soul: Persona’ (2.5m sales).

The important context here is that this is based purely on sales: physical and digital. Streams are not factored into the results. Arashi thus benefited from Japan’s still-robust CD market, which accounted for 40.5% of the country’s recorded music revenues in 2018. That said, no other Japanese artists were in the IFPI’s top 10 albums for 2019, so Arashi’s sales figures are genuinely impressive for their own market too.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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