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Analysis: the music industry enters 2020 on a wave of growth – and optimism

Barring a major surprise, 2019 will have been the fifth straight year of growth for the global recorded music industry. Over those five years, its annual revenues have grown from $14.2bn to $19.1bn, taking it almost back to its 2004 level. If 2019 matched 2018’s 9.7% growth, we could be talking about $21bn last year.

The indications are good, from the quarterly figures published last year by the major labels, to the RIAA’s mid-year stats showing 16% growth for the US recorded music market, via record-setting revenues for collecting societies and steady subscriber growth for the big, global streaming services.

We’re still a way off the revenues that the industry was recording in the peak-CD pre-Napster era, but Goldman Sachs is predicting that streaming alone will be worth $37.2bn a year to the industry by 2030, while Midia Research reckons consumer-spending on streaming (as opposed to trade revenues) could reach $45.3bn by 2026.