Music consumption grew 11.3% in the US in 2021 says MRC Data


Christmas may be the time for over-consumption of the gastric kind, but January is very much the season of music consumption research. We reported on the BPI’s UK figures earlier this week, and now MRC Data has published its report on music usage in the US in 2021.

Overall consumption grew by 11.3% according to its figures, including a 12.6% rise in on-demand audio streaming. The research firm also pointed out that catalogue music (defined as that released more than 18 months ago) accounted for 76% of those audio streams in 2021, up markedly from 66% in 2020. Note the 18-month cutoff period though: we suspect this is less about music from past decades suddenly spiking on streaming services, and more about the fact that tracks that have only just slipped from ‘current’ to ‘catalogue’ hanging around.

One contrast to the UK figures in MRC Data’s report: the deceleration in overall consumption and streams isn’t as marked. The 2021 US growth of 11.3% in overall consumption was down from 11.6% in 2020, while the on-demand audio streaming growth of 12.6% was down from 17% in 2020.

Still a deceleration, though.

Written by: Stuart Dredge