Streaming Drives Recorded Music Growth

The global recorded music industry grew 5.9 percent year-on-year, generating $15.7 billion in revenues in 2016, according to the IFPI.  

Chris McKay /
– Drake
Philips Arena, Atlanta, Ga.

It marks the second consecutive year of growth, as well as the largest growth in overall annual revenue since IFPI began tracking the market in 1997.

Digital income, largely driven by streaming subscriptions, now accounts for 50 per cent of global revenues. In total, 112 million users of paid music streaming subscriptions drove a 60.4 percent increase streaming revenue and “more than offset a 20.5 percent decline in downloads and a 7.6 percent decline in physical revenue,” according to the report.

“The industry is now working towards a return to sustainable growth following a 15-year period during which revenues dropped by nearly 40 per cent.” IFPI’s chief executive Frances Moore pointed out, like she did in the previous year, that a value gap still existed in the digital recorded music eco system, a “growing mismatch between the value that user upload services, such as YouTube, extract from music and the revenue returned to those who create and invest in music.”

This gap was the “biggest challenge to sustainable growth,” according to a panel at the report’s launch in London, April 24, which was made up of Moore and major executives Stu Bergen (Warner), Dennis Kooker (Sony) and Michael Nash (Universal).

Drake was king of 2016, with the year’s best-selling single, “One Dance,” and the third best-selling album, Views.