The IFPI published its annual global music report reflecting on the industry’s 2016 performance. Global revenue increased 5.9% to $15.7 billion. Digital revenue rose 17.8% to $7.8 billion, enough that it now has a 50% share of the global music industry’s total.
Streaming was a key growth driver for the worldwide music industry, with a 60.4% spike to revenue leading to a $3.9 billion total. The IFPI also found that by the end of 2016, there were 112 million paying subscribers globally. Including ad-supported streaming service users, the listener base is 212 million. Streaming accounts for 59% of all digital revenue.
Download revenue declined 20.5% in 2016. Physical revenue fell 7.6%. The general trend of streaming revenue growing while both physical and download sources steadily decline echoes the results of many other reports for 2016. In the United States, the RIAA and Nielsen annual reports traced the same arcs of industry results.
“If the digital market continues to grow, so too will the overall level of remuneration to artists, as will the levels of overall investment required to create new music whilst helping to drive digital innovation,” IFPI CEO Frances Moore said. Her response also mirrored those of trade group leaders, who have used the release of new data as an advocacy point for addressing the value gap issue around YouTube and other questions of licensing and copyright.
“Realistically, for this growth to become sustainable, for investment in artists to be maintained and for the market to continue to evolve and develop, more must be done to safeguard the value of music and to reward creativity,” Moore said. “For music to thrive in a digital world, there must be a fair digital marketplace.”