The recording industry is a mixed-format business, offering music fans a diverse range of formats, including not only hundreds of streaming services, but everything from downloads to CDs and vinyl.

The recording industry’s global revenues for 2017 came from a number of revenue streams:

30% physical
16% Digital (excl. streaming)
38% Streaming
14% Performance rights
2% Synchronisation revenues

Digital music revenues

In 2017, the global recorded music market grew by 8.1%. This was the third consecutive year of global growth and one of the highest rates of growth since IFPI began tracking the market in 1997. Revenues increased in most markets and in eight of the global top 10 markets.

Driven by fans’ engagement with streaming – especially paid subscription audio streaming – digital revenues now account for more than half (54%) of the global recorded music market. Total streaming revenues increased by 41.1%. By the end of 2017, there were an estimated 176 million users of paid subscription accounts globally, with 64 million having been added during the year.

However, to put this recovery in context, total industry revenues for 2017 were still just 68.4% of the market’s peak in 1999.

Against the backdrop of a global market that had endured 15 years of significant revenue decline, record companies are working to fuel the recent return to growth and ensure music creators receive fair value.

This renewed growth is a result of record companies' ongoing investment, not only in artists, but also in digital innovation that is enriching fans' experiences and harnessing technology such as voice-controlled home speakers and much more.

Even beyond their constant efforts to break and nurture artists, music companies have worked to foster growth in developing music markets, in particular by creating engaging ways for fans to access music on multiple services and platforms.

In 32 markets, digital revenues now account for more than half the recorded music market with six further countries crossing the threshold in 2017

Physical revenue declined by 5.4%, a slightly higher rate than the previous year (4.4%) Consumption of physical formats declined in the majority of markets, but physical revenue still accounted for 30% of the global market and a higher percentage of market share in countries such as Japan (72%) and Germany (43%). Globally, revenues from vinyl sales grew by 22.3% and made up 3.7% of the total recorded music market in 2017.

Performance rights revenue - revenue from the use of recorded music by broadcasters and public venues - increased 2.3% to US$2.4 billion. This accounts for 14% of total industry revenue overall, but the industry believes that this still does not represent fair value for rights holders and continues to campaign to address this.

Explore more in Global Statistics

  • Best Sellers

    Top global performing artists of 2017

  • Investment

    Discovering, nurturing, promoting artists

  • Consumer research

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