Music Business

2023 Global Music report shows new streaming stats that will surprise you

The latest IFPI 2023 Global Music Report contains some good and bad news for music streaming and the artists and industry that rely on it, writes Bobby Owsinski.

by Bobby Owsinski from Music 3.0

There was a time a few years ago when a majority of the more vocal music pundits said that they just couldn’t see how the music industry could make it on streaming revenue alone. Then they said that there was no way that streaming would ever reach 100 million paid subscribers. Those predictions turned out to be dead wrong, as the latest IFPI 2023 Global Music Report shows.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) represents over 8,000 recording labels worldwide, including the three major labels, and its annual report is a pretty good indication of the state of the music business. By any stretch, you’d have to say it was healthy when you look at the numbers.

Streaming Is Hot

For instance, streaming now accounts for 67% of the industry’s total revenue, which is about $17 billion of the $26.2 billion total. But what caught my eye is that there are now more than 589 million paid music subscribers worldwide and growing. Obviously, that 100 million barrier was broken some time ago. 

And streaming revenue and users are growing in every territory, even Asia, which is still a bastion for physical product. The hottest areas for growth remain in the Middle East and North Africa, which was up by almost 35%, and Latin America, which was up by almost 26%.

The Good And The Bad

Sub-Saharan and the Latin American territories are now the prime focus of the major labels, which is great for industry growth. The problem for Western artist is that it means more competition as well. 

There are great artists rising from those territories and getting more exposure than ever. Their unique take on modern sounds is great for music, and, as we’ve seen with K-Pop, can even lead to a brand new trend. Those 589 million listeners only have so much time in the day to listen to music however, and anything that’s new in the market takes a piece of that time that might have previously been allocated to other artists.

Hopefully the new competition will cause a brand new trend that will get us out of our 12 to 15 year rut.

Top Territories

Finally, the IFPI 2023 Global Music Report has a bit of a shake up in the top 10 music markets. They are:

1 The United States

2. Japan

3. The United Kingdom

4. Germany

5. China (first time in the top 5)

6. France

7. S. Korea

8. Canada

9. Brazil

10. Australia

While we’re still not back to the 2001 peak of the record business, the latest IFPI 2023 Global Music Report shows solid evidence that we’re heading in the right direction.

Bobby Owsinski is a producer/engineer, author and coach. He has authored 24 books on recording, music, the music business and social media.

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