Luminate data for mid-year 2023 gives us a peek at the state of the music industry this year. Here’s a drill down into the data.
Luminate revealed earlier this year that the global music industry had surpassed one trillion streams at the fastest pace yet—taking only three months to reach that milestone. It took four months in 2022 to reach those streaming levels, showing that music streaming is growing. Physical sales are also up across all formats, with super fans helping drive those sales.
Super Fans Are Driving Physical Sales
How does Luminate define a super fan? A music listener aged 13+ who engages with an artist and their content in multiple ways, from streaming to social media to purchasing physical music, merch, or attending live shows. Super fans in this report were participants who self-reported engaging with their favorite music artist in 5+ ways. Super fans account for 15% of the general population in the U.S. and they influence the evolution of music and an artists’ relationship with their listeners.
Physical music buyers who purchase CDs, cassettes, or vinyl are 128% likely to be music super fans. The data also shows they spend 80% more money on music each month, compared to the average music listener.
Non-English Lyric Music Growing Rapidly
Non-English language music is growing in popularity in the United States, specifically with Latin music. Luminate’s data points to 40% of U.S. listeners engaging with music in another language — Spanish, French, Korean, Japanese, Italian, German, and Arabic are the most popular foreign music languages for Americans.
Direct to Consumer Sales up 20% Compared to Last Year
Physical music sales continue to rise, with 4.4 million total sales in the first half of 2023. That’s a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2022. Drilling total sales data down looks like this:
- Vinyl — 60.3% | 3.6 million sales (26%+ YoY)
- CD — 38.3% | 1.7 million (15%+ YoY)
- Cassette — 1.4% | 62,000 (-14.6% YoY)
A further look at the data reveals that the Rock genre commands most physical sales, with 44.6%. The Pop genre took 12.8% of the total, followed by R&B/Hip-Hop with 10.9%. Over 60% of total direct-to-consumer product sales are of current releases, but that number is low because people enjoy older music on vinyl. Accounting for just CD and Cassette sales bumps that number to over 75% being current rather than catalog sales.
42% of Gen Z say they believe artists don’t offer enough merchandising opportunities. The generation that grew up with micro-transactions in their online games understand the model intrinsically — if you like something, you buy something to show your support.
Gen Z is 33% more likely than other age cohorts to buy artist apparel. Overall, 60% of the U.S. general population has purchased at least one piece of artist merch in the past, according to the data. Merch is important—physical sales and apparel drive the category.
Here’s a peek at what the average super fan looks like for each physical category, according to Luminate data.
That drill-down gets even deeper when you look at the K-pop genre and its relationship with physical sales.
K-Pop fans are +69% more likely to purchase a vinyl record in the next 12 months compared to other major genre super fans. They’re also +67% more likely to purchase music to show their support for an artist. K-pop fans also drive CD sales (+46%) and cassette sales (+23%). One in four K-Pop fans have purchased a cassette in the last year.
Ticket Costs Are Rising
The average concert-goer now spends 40% more on concerts in May 2023 compared to September 2022. The price of concert tickets have surpassed COVID concerns for many people looking to attend a live event. In May 2023, 58% of people said high ticket costs would keep them from attending, vs. only 22% of respondents citing COVID cases in their area.
Streaming Growth Rate Outside the U.S.
Asia has led the growth rate of streaming outside of the United States, with 107% growth over the first half of 2023. South Africa follows with a 83% growth rate, with Latin America (70%), Europe (57%), and Australia & New Zealand (55%) rounding out the largest growing markets.
Country Music Reached A New Streaming Peek
The highest weekly total ever for country music on-demand audio happened the week ending on June 1, 2023 with 2.26 billion streams. Morgan Wallen’s One Thing at a Time accounts for 9.6% of all country on-demand audio streaming since its March 3, 2023 debut.
The report also highlights the growing importance of music streaming for country music listeners to discover new music. +32% of Gen Z country listeners say they are more likely to discover music through video or audio streaming. It also reveals how some of the biggest country stars are driven by their younger audiences, with Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs driven by Millennials, while Bailey Zimmerman and Zach Bryan’s listeners are mostly Gen Z.
View the full Luminate report here.