Big Music Stats: Luminate mid-years and Midia forecast


Industry figures? We’ve got some big ones for you today, courtesy of research firm Luminate’s latest mid-year US report, and consultancy firm Midia Research’s future forecasts.

Key figures from Luminate’s report include a 24.7% year-on-year rise for on-demand audio song streams: 1.6tn (trillion) of them in the first six months of 2022. Meanwhile, on-demand video song streams grew by 28.1% to 901.5bn. Also notable: the share of this consumption taken by catalogue music has grown from 69.4% in the first half of 2021 to 72.4% a year later.

(Luminate has a specific definition of catalogue music for albums: “18 months or older and have fallen below No. 100 on the Billboard 200 chart and don’t have a single from the album that is current on any of Billboard’s radio airplay charts’. So now you know!)

Catalogue streaming is up 19% so far in 2022, with just over a third of that listening coming from tracks released between 2017 and 2019 – so recent catalogue, although 1990s music is around 10% too. There are plenty more trends to dig into in the report.

Neatly complementing this analysis of past data is Midia’s new report looking forward, with predictions for the retail value of recorded music through to 2030. The company reckons the market will grow from $51.8bn in 2021 to $59.3bn this year – a rise of 14.5% – before steadily increasing year by year to reach $89.1bn by 2030.

“The music business is not even yet halfway through a long-term rebound phase. While there is a well-reasoned argument that music revenues are still not back to pre-Napster levels, the coming years should right that anomaly (rampant inflation permitting),” is Midia’s verdict.

The company said it had bumped up its previous predictions for growth, citing revenue from ‘non-DSP’ companies and booming revenues in China as two factors. While its full report also includes a set of ‘bear scenario’ forecasts if the global economy goes into a tailspin, the overall picture is optimistic.

“Should the global economy slow, then the likelihood is that while music will prove not be ‘recession proof’, it will neither be recession vulnerable,” is the conclusion drawn.

In the past, there’s been a bit of needle between Midia Research and another prominent industry-revenue predictor, Goldman Sachs, which naturally made us keen to compare the two companies’ latest 2030 forecasts – even if they’re slightly apples-to-oranges in terms of retail versus trade values.

The most direct comparison: Midia reckons that streaming will generate 82% of 2030’s $89.1bn of recorded music revenues at retail value: so around $73.1bn. Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, has predicted gross streaming revenues of $89.3bn for streaming in 2030 – more than Midia’s prediction for the entire recorded market.

It’s not quite bull and bear; rather a pair of bulls, one of whom you might be more likely to welcome into your china shop. But the wider point is that in a growing industry, we need multiple data sources to understand that growth: so Luminate’s market data, and Midia’s predictions as a complement to the widely-quoted Goldman Sachs numbers, are both welcome.

Written by: Stuart Dredge