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Taking in $19 billion, industry has something to sing about

Updated: 2019-04-13 10:47:41

( China Daily )

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The global recorded music market grew 9.7 percent last year, the fourth consecutive year of growth, says the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, made up of about 1,300 major and independent companies in almost 60 countries, and which promotes the interests of the international recording industry.

The federation's Global Music Report 2019, published on April 2, said total revenues for last year were $19.1 billion. China, a new entrant in the global top 10 the previous year, rose to seventh position in 2018.

"One of the most exciting aspects of this global growth is the regions driving it," says Frances Moore, the federation's chief executive.

For the fourth year in a row Latin America has enjoyed the largest regional growth, with countries like Brazil leading the way. Asia has become a world player, with markets like China and South Korea fueling growth.

"Record companies continue to hone their partnerships with artists, offering expertise and resources on the ground to help navigate these landscapes and bring their music to their fans in the most effective and affecting ways," Moore says.

Streaming revenue grew 34 percent and accounted for 47 percent of global revenue, driven by a 32.9 percent increase in paid subscription streaming. There were 255 million users of paid streaming services at the end of the year, with paid streaming accounting for 37 percent of total recorded music revenue.

As for the Chinese market, Andrew Chan, managing director of Sony Music in China, says it is very exciting because it is undergoing constant digital transformation.

"Importantly, paid subscribers are growing, thanks to the efforts of the whole industry - but we are still only at around 33 million subscribers, out of a population of 1.4 billion."

The country is becoming more prominent globally as more and more international artists are invited to talent shows as judges - and sometimes contestants - so there is an increase in the number of Western artists wishing to come to China, he says.

Chinese artists looking to break outside the territory should not always adapt their style to that of Western artists, Chan says.

"Artists often choose to sing in English overseas, but English is not their first language, so they cannot compare or compete with Western artists in that sense. I believe there is another angle. There is an opportunity to introduce Western audiences to C-Pop, to get them to understand and fall in love with the genre and allow our artists to find a global stage that way."

The report says physical format revenue continued to fall last year, dropping by 10.1 percent and now accounting for 24.7 percent of the market. As in the previous year, in most markets there was a fall in revenue from physical formats, but a small number of markets bucked the trend, and physical revenues still constitute a significant percentage of the market in some countries, including 71 percent in Japan, 47 percent in Poland and 35 percent in Germany.

Revenue from vinyls also continued to rise, for the 13th year in a row, by 6 percent and maintaining a 3.6 percent share of the overall market.

Revenue from performance rights - use of recorded music by broadcasters and in public venues - rose 9.8 percent last year. This revenue, totaling $2.7 billion, accounted for 14 percent of total recorded music industry revenue.


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