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Why is the US share of global recorded music revenue growing?


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In 2011, the US accounted for 26% of global recorded music revenues. In 2019, that share had grown to 36% according to industry body the IFPI’s figures, despite that period covering considerable global expansion for music streaming services.

Why is the world’s biggest music market taking an even bigger share of the revenue? Former Spotify chief economist Will Page has some thoughts, published in an article on Billboard.

“One factor: The dollar has been strong, with the trade-weighted exchange rate (measured against a range of currencies) rising 30% from 2011 to 2019,” he wrote. “Also, the world’s second-biggest music market, Japan, hasn’t grown in size over the same four years, fueling America’s dominance. Nearly 70% of Japan’s recorded-music revenue still comes from CDs, but as the CD business struggles with the store closures and distribution issues posed by COVID-19, the United States could increase its share of the global pie even more.”

The full piece has more analysis of the IFPI’s recent Global Music Report, from why the Nordic region hasn’t yet reached ‘peak streaming’ to Page’s suggestion that as many as one third of the 341 million users of paid music services may not be paying for them.

Stuart Dredge

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