IFPI 2015 Year End Report Analysis

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Market Results

Raw data analysis

The major indicator for 2015 is an increase of the overall music industry revenue of 3,2% from $14,5 billion to $15,0 billion. The increase is the best yearly increase in 20 years after continuous drops, while the overall revenue represents the best year of the decade.

  • Physical sales: -4,5% at $5,8 billion
  • Digital sales: -10,5% at $3 billion
  • Streaming: +45,2% at $2,89 billion
  • Other digital revenues: +9% at $0,8 billion
  • Performance rights: +4,4% at $2,09 billion
  • Synchronization revenue: +6,6% at $0,4 billion

The main news is that all digital segments add for $6,7 billion, for the first time ever more than the $6,1 billion brought by physical sales. Inside this digital segment, streaming represents 43% and download sales 45%, meaning as we speak streaming already crushed such sales.

Physical drop of 4,5% is quite small if we consider it was over 10% per year for many years now. The main reason is the notable increases vinyl have been registering. While their market share was too small to get noticed, the combined effect of their constant increases as well as CD sales drops creates a situation where they get more and more crucial.

A last very positive point is how widespread increases are. Historically markets had delays in penetration of each formats and individual economic context concluding on increases of some markets and decreases of others, which is why an overall 3% increase is so rare. In 2015, every single continent saw increases:

  • North America: +1,4%
  • Europe: +2,3%
  • Asia: 5,7%
  • Latin America: 11,8%
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So, after a decade of transition, the music industry is getting back to where it was (in terms of total revenue) by 2005. But I remember you projected that within about 10 years, the record breaking figure from 1999 would be beaten. We will have to wait and see, but sounds extremely possible, especially considering that, apart from the traditional biggest markets, much of Asia and Latin America are starting to be fairly represented in relation to their population. Many good news. Of all the English speaking acts, Michael Jackson will probably be the most benefited by the irruption of… Read more »