Recorded music


The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has published its annual Recording Industry In Numbers report for 2013. The global recorded music industry saw its revenues increase very slightly by 0.2% in 2012, the first increase since 1999. Growth in digital revenues, including those from the rapidly expanding subscription and streaming service domain, coupled with boosted income from a number of emerging markets, combined to help compensate for the continued decline in physical product sales. Digital now accounts for 35% of the wider record industry’s global trade revenues, and of this paid for downloads account for around 80% – although in Europe subscription and streaming are now bringing in a third of digital income. Digital generated $5.6 billion in 2012, up 8% on 2011. Physical products bring in 57% of the money worldwide and CD sales topped $9.4 billion with 833 million CDs sold, down from 910 million in 2011 and 2.4 billion sold in 2000.The remaining income is from other licensing-based revenue streams, chiefly performance (PPL) rights, which now account for 6% of income overall. Sync licensing saw modest growth in 2012.

Brazil, India and Mexico have all seen market growth since 2008 (of 24%, 42% and 17% respectively). The US, Japan, Germany, UK and France remain the biggest markets overall.

Vinyl remains a growth area: only 3 million albums were sold in 2006, and although still relatively small, sales topped $177 million in 2012, the highest figure since 1997. But the cassette tape is approaching extinction with sales down to just 2 million units, down from 5 million in 2011.

Commenting on the Report, IFPI boss Frances Moore said “This is a must-read publication for anyone following the global music industry. It is packed with the latest data and analysis, broken down by formats, revenue streams, regions and countries. Recording Industry in Numbers also reveals the sheer diversity of the modern music business. Notable highlights in this year’s edition are the increasing role of subscription services and the growing importance of emerging markets in driving the industry’s recovery”.