Record company-driven investment, innovation and partnerships are supporting artists to connect with fans around the world whilst also yielding dynamic growth in high-potential markets. Alongside fans’ engagement with streaming services, the recorded music market continues to grow.

The recording industry’s global revenues for 2018 came from a number of revenue streams:

25% physical
12% Digital (excl. streaming)
47% Streaming
14% Performance rights
2% Synchronisation revenues

In 2018, global recorded music revenues posted growth of 9.7%. This was the fourth consecutive year of global growth and one of the highest rates of growth since IFPI began tracking the market in 1997. Revenues increased in many markets and in nine of the global top 10 markets.


Driven by fans’ engagement with streaming – especially paid subscription audio streaming – digital revenues now account for more than half (58.9%) of the global recorded music market. Total streaming revenues increased by 34.0%. By the end of 2018, there were 255 million users of paid subscription accounts globally.

In 38 markets, digital revenues now account for more than half the recorded music market

Physical revenue declined by 10.1%, now accounting for around a quarter of the overall market. Consumption of physical formats declined in the majority of markets, but a small number of markets posted growth (India, Japan, South Korea) and physical revenues constitute a significant percentage of the market in some countries such as Germany, Poland and Japan. Globally, revenues from vinyl grew by 6.0% and made up 3.6% of the total recorded music market in 2018.

Performance rights revenue - revenue from the use of recorded music by broadcasters and public venues - increased 9.8% to US$2.7 billion, accounting for 14% of total industry revenue overall.

Synchronisation revenue increased 5.2% in 2018, accounting for a 2.3% share of the total market. A dominant feature of the return to growth in recent years has been the expanded levels of investment record companies are making in their offerings to artists, in their people and in their global presence. Record companies are investing more than one-third of their global revenues, or US$5.8 billion, in Artists & Repertoire (or A&R) and marketing each year, to break, develop and support artists.

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