The IFPI is launching its annual Global Music Report (GMR) on 22 March, which is when we’ll get to see what kind of growth the recorded music industry saw in 2021. However, a number of the key markets have already published their individual figures, giving us a strong hint on what the GMR is likely to show. After the US and Germany, today we have figures from the UK and France to parse.
From the UK, the BPI’s numbers show that recorded music revenues grew by 12.8% in 2021 to £1.26bn (around $1.65bn), with streaming revenues up 13.7% to £837.2m. Within that figure, streaming subscriptions grew by 13% to $734.5m, and thus now account for just over 58% of the total market.
The UK also saw 14.6% growth in physical revenues to £241m, and while CDs enjoyed a small 1.4% rise, it was 34% growth in vinyl sales that caught the eye. Vinyl hasn’t re-overtaken CD in the UK like it has in the US, but that may well happen in 2022: vinyl sales were £115.9m last year while CD sales were £117.2m.
There was also double-digit growth for the recorded music market in France, with industry body SNEP’s figures revealing a 14.3% increase to €861m (around $946.3m) in 2021.
Within that, physical sales grew by 21% to €223m and digital revenues grew by 13% to €506m. Streaming grew by 15.2% overall to just over €492m, including 15% growth in subscriptions to €378m. So, those subscriptions accounted for just under 44% of the overall recorded music market in France.
To summarise in dollar terms: the UK was up 12.8% to $1.65bn, France was up 14.3% to $946.3m, and we already have figures showing that US wholesale revenues for recorded music grew by 22% to $9.8bn, and German revenues were up 10% to $2.16bn. Now add in Japanese body RIAJ’s figures for recorded music – up 4% to ¥283.2m (around $2.39bn) – and we have figures for the world’s top five recorded music markets.
Caveat: they may not be directly comparable in some of the details – we’ll await the IFPI’s figures to see how the numbers stack up with neighbouring rights, sync and other revenues. Still, on the calculations above – and even with Japan’s smaller growth – it would not be a surprise to see the official global figures outstrip 2020’s 7.4% growth, and a double-digit increase is entirely feasible.
(Not that all its surprises have been revealed: key questions for the IFPI report will include what’s happening in high-potential markets like India, China and Africa; and the potential hot potato of how one-off ‘non-DSP’ payments are counted as part of these figures.)