April 25, 2017
Music executives today are hearing the only sound more intrinsically delightful than the millennial whoop: the cha-ching of a thriving industry. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry released its “Global Music Report” on Tuesday and the results are encouraging for its players.
Thanks to the proliferation of streaming services and a marked increase in performance rights revenue, the global recorded music industry’s revenue grew 5.9 percent last year to $15.7 billion.
Six percent growth might sound modest in comparison with that of other industries, but since the industry released its first “Global Music Report” (originally labeled the “Digital Music Report”) in 1997, the fate of the music business has been precarious. Because of the ease with which music fans could illegally download music for free, the first incarnation of the digital era, based on music downloads, proved unsustainable.
But streaming appears more promising. Last year marks the second consecutive year in which revenue grew after 15 straight years of decline — a period when revenue dropped as much as 40 percent.
Though the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s chief executive, Frances Moore, cautioned against complacency at the report’s release, Billboard reported that he attributed the bounce back to a new proficiency at navigating the digital landscape.
“As an industry we’ve had years of investment and innovation to make it happen and we’re starting to see the shift now: from adapting to the digital age to actually driving the digital age,” he said.