MIDiA Research: Streaming boosted global music revenue to $17.4 billion in 2017

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MIDiA Research has shared its 2017 figures for the global recorded music market, and its results show a big year of growth thanks to a powerful performance from streaming. Global recorded music revenue hit $17.4 billion during 2017, up 8.5% from $16 billion in 2016. The year’s performance returns the global market to just below its levels from 2008.

Streaming revenue worldwide totaled $7.4 billion. The figure marked 39% year-on-year growth and generated a 43% share of total music revenue. Growth for streaming revenue outpaced the 10% drop in revenue for what MIDiA defines as legacy formats, including downloads and physical formats.

Among the major labels, Universal Music Group held its lead. At $5.16 billion, UMG secured a 29.7% share of global revenue. Sony Music’s $3.6 billion yielded a 22.1% share and Warner Music Group’s nearly $3.13 billion marked an 18% share. Independent music was responsible for almost $4.8 billion in revenue, but much of that winds up funneled to digital distribution companies owned by the majors. MIDiA did point to a new trend of artists directly distributing their work without the help of a label. This segment saw revenue grow 27.2% on year.

“The big take away from 2017 is that the market is becoming increasingly diversified, with artists direct far outgrowing the rest of the market,” the research group stated in the blog post announcing the results. “Although this does not mean that the labels are about to be usurped, it does signify – especially when major distributed independent label revenue and label services deals are considered – an increasingly diversified market. Add the possibility of streaming services signing artists themselves and doing direct deals with independent labels, and the picture becomes even more interesting.”

Anna Washenko