2021 was the fastest growing year in living memory for recorded music…
While I suspect that Covid and the associated lockdowns can take some of the credit, it was great to see that in 2021 the global music market grew faster than at any time since records were established in the 90s. Revenues increased to $25.9 Billion, a growth of 18.5% on the previous year. However, it is possible that the influence of Covid may not be as significant as first thought – the uptake in music consumption has been on a steady rise for years – following a severe decline at the end of the last century.
While steaming shows the most significant gains, every aspect of the industry showed growth, except for digital downloads. Globally, CD sales grew significantly. This is the first time that CD’s sales have increased year-on-year since 2004 (are we seeing the start of a Vinyl style resurgence – as recently posted on Techspot.com – “CD’s are the vinyl of the millennial generation”.)
According to ARIA this week Vinyl sales also outstripped CD in Australia for the first time (although I realise that this happened globally the previous year). So, while CD sales may be making a comeback – Vinyl continues to power ahead.
Globally, subscription streaming now accounts for around 65% of music revenues. Being the land of early adopters, it is not surprising that the divide between digital and physical music consumption is more significant in Australia, with this figure topping out at an impressive 85%.
It’s a wonderful time to be part of this industry. Access to music continues to expand with new (and old) artists experimenting with new styles and genres. Music has always been an important factor in my life, but now my listening covers genres I would never have considered in my youth. This includes Classical, Blues, Jazz, Pop, Country, Folk, New World – the list goes on. The systems we access this through continue to improve and have become more affordable in real terms. And music is now accessible wherever we are.
If you were wondering, Adele’s “30” was the biggest selling album of 2021. Also, while there is ongoing concern over the revenues received by the artists in this new era of music consumption, the sheer possibility of reach is highlighted by The Weekend’s single “Save your tears”, enjoying a massive 2.15 billion streams during the year