Global Recorded Music Industry Revenue Jumped 18.5% During 2021, Report Says — Including 35% Growth in MENA and 31.2% in Latin America

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Global recorded music industry revenue by year. Photo Credit: IFPI

The global recorded music industry turned in an 18.5 percent year-over-year revenue jump in 2021 due to double-digit hikes in streaming, physical, and sync income, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

The IFPI revealed these and other noteworthy stats in its newly published Global Music Report. Per the document, the worldwide recorded music industry generated $25.9 billion in 2021 (up 18.5 percent YoY, as mentioned), compared to an originally reported $21.6 billion (and 7.4 percent YoY growth) in 2020.

For additional reference, the RIAA claimed in its own 2021 report that the stateside music industry had made about $14.99 billion at “estimated retail value” on the year – 23.4 percent more than in 2020.

Back to the IFPI’s breakdown for 2021, however, the text indicates that overall streaming revenue improved by 24.3 percent from the prior year and represented 65 percent of total income, up from 62 percent. Paid-subscription users cracked 523 million and, in keeping with previous years, accounted for a substantial portion (47.3 percent) of recorded music industry revenue.

Bearing in mind the well-documented resurgence of vinyl and even CDs, the IFPI relayed that “for the first time in 20 years, there was growth in the physical market.”

The global recorded music industry’s physical income grew 16.1 percent from 2020 (having fallen by 5.3 percent in 2019 and by 4.7 percent in 2020), the analysis shows, as CDs posted a YoY gain “for the first time this millennium.”

“There was particularly strong engagement with the format in Asia,” the report states, and the RIAA previously specified that 2021 had brought CDs’ first U.S. revenue boost since 2004, with units shipped approaching 47 million, up nearly 50 percent YoY. Meanwhile, vinyl enjoyed continued commercial growth on the world stage in 2021, per the IFPI, at a 51.3 percent YoY revenue increase.

Recorded music revenue attributable to sync likewise achieved a double-digit hike (an even 22 percent) in 2021, as disclosed at the outset, reaching $549.1 million worldwide, according to the IFPI. Geographically, the same source communicated that music industry revenue jumped in each monitored region in 2021 (including separate categories for MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time).

Breaking down the 2021 music industry revenue upsurges by region, the IFPI placed the top-four percentages at 35 percent for MENA (95.3 percent market share for streaming, with a total market of $89.5 million), 31.2 percent for Latin America (Brazil and Mexico accounted for 66.5 percent of revenue), 22 percent for U.S. and Canada, and 16.1 percent for Asia (producing 49.6 percent of global physical sales).

Europe ranked next, at 15.4 percent, against 9.6 percent for Sub-Saharan Africa (ad-supported streaming increased by 56.4 percent YoY) and 4.1 percent for Australasia. Considering these trends, Japan rebounded from a two percent revenue dip in 2020 to 9.3 percent growth in 2021 and remained the second-largest music market in the world, behind the U.S. and ahead of the U.K.

Italy (27.8 percent YoY growth) quietly made its way back onto the IFPI’s list of the top-10 music markets, and the most notable movement was China’s ascent to the sixth spot, placing behind France but passing South Korea and once again ranking above Canada and Australia.