IFPI Global Report: Streaming is the world’s top music revenue source

Streaming revenue has topped yet another report. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has released its Global Music Report 2018, which showed a third consecutive year of increased music sales on the back of streaming growth.

The latest report showed an 8.1% rise in 2017 music sales to reach $17.3 billion. Digital sources secured a 54% share of the total, and it is the first year it was responsible for more than half of the global result.

Streaming was the largest source of money for the first time in the IFPI’s report, reaching revenue of $5.6 billion. 173 million people are now subscription streaming customers, with 64 million joining in 2017. Ad-supported listeners bring the total global streaming audience to 272 million.

Physical sales dipped about 5% to deliver revenue of $5.2 billion. Download revenue fell farther: down 21% to $1.8 billion.

The IFPI has long been a vehement critic of safe harbor provisions and the payments into the music industry made by platforms such as YouTube that rely on user-generated content. As in past years, the publication of the annual report offered an opportunity for IFPI leadership to speak on the topic again.

“As much as the industry can do a lot – and has done a lot on its own – there is a structural fault in the system,” IFPI CEO Frances Moore said. She contrasted the billions-large streaming revenue total with the $856 million revenue delivered by YouTube and similar services. “Until we fix that structural defect to the market it will always be a struggle.”

Anna Washenko

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