Global recording industry growth slows as figures return to pre-pandemic levels

·3-min read

The global recording industry’s annual growth nearly halved over the past year as figures showed signs of returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Subscription streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music continued to help boost the music market by 9.0% in 2022, but this was down from the previous year’s 18.5% growth.

Figures show 2021 saw the biggest year of growth since official reporting began, with figures up sharply from 7.2% in 2020 and 8.2% in 2019, as the industry started to recover from disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to figures released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in its annual global music report, revenues totalled 26.2 billion US dollars (£21.4 billion) in 2022.

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Subscription streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music continued to help boost the music market by 9.0% in 2022 (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Global superstars including Harry Styles, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Lizzo were among those who released blockbuster albums across the past year.

The UK music market also enjoyed a rise of 5.4% – although a decrease from 2021’s 13.2% uplift.

The eighth consecutive year of growth in the worldwide recording industry was supported by total streaming figures, including both paid subscription and advertising-supported streaming, growing by 11.5% to reach 17.5 billion US dollars (£14.3 billion), or 67.0% of total global recorded music revenues.

The industry body stated that by the end of 2022, there were 589 million users of paid subscription accounts which helped boost the streaming revenues by 10.3% to 12.7 billion US dollars (£10.4 billion).

Growth was also supported by physical formats such as CD and vinyl, which had an uptick of 4%, and performance rights – money earned when a song is played in public – also saw an increase of 8.6%.

IFPI chief executive Frances Moore said: “This year’s report tells the continued story of record companies’ commitment to their core mission – working with artists to help them achieve their greatest creative and commercial potential over the course of a career.

“That requires an artist-label partnership that constantly evolves and innovates so that it can capitalise on opportunities in more business areas and more parts of the world.

“Record companies’ investment and innovation has helped make music even more globally interconnected than ever, building out local teams around the world, and working with artists from a growing variety of music scenes.

“This is driving music’s development whilst enabling fans to seize the expanding opportunities to embrace and celebrate their own local artists and culture.

“However, as the opportunities for music continue to expand, so too do the areas in which record companies must work to ensure that the value the music artists are creating is recognised and returned.

“This challenge is becoming increasingly complex as a greater number of actors seek to benefit from music whilst playing no part in investing in and developing it.”