Considering the influence music has on nearly everyone, you can expect music industry statistics to offer some interesting data points.

The music industry is booming with changing trends and a broad range of music preferences.

This can be seen in the global revenue the industry pulled in for 2022, as it capped off at $26.2 billion.

On a business level, executives are always striving for more.

Based on the industry’s track record, this trend is likely to continue.

Outside of everyday listeners and streaming services, there are many nuances that make up the whole of the music industry.

In this article, you’ll get a comprehensive overview of music industry statistics that are propelling the industry forward.

Key Statistics

  • 65% of the global recorded music industry’s revenue comes from music streaming
  • The music industry is expected to see a CAGR of 8.5% on a global scale between 2021 and 2026
  • Physical albums only accounted for 9% of all music sales in 2022
  • The current market size of the music industry is $28.29 billion
  • There are roughly 523 million paying music-streaming subscribers
  • Among the American population, 82.2 million of them have music-streaming subscriptions
  • The United States is the top music market in the world
  • 31.4% of streaming and physical sales revenue in 2020 came from independent record labels

Music Industry Statistics: What Stands Out the Most?

It isn’t uncommon for the music industry to see growth with each passing year, as it proves to be popular from more than one angle.

The way people consume music nowadays is quite unique, and this makes for some statistics that are relatively new to the industry.

You also want to consider how connected the music community is in this day and age.

Cycles in music are moving faster than ever, and tastes among younger generations are forcing change and making way for a new generation of artists.

The music industry is heavily focused on digital platforms and intelligent devices to make their services more accessible than ever.

Music streaming’s popularity hasn’t dwindled one bit, and it couldn’t be easier for artists to get their music in front of an online audience. 

These shifts in the music industry have drummed up quite a few interesting statistics.

You can get a look at a few highlights on this topic in the following sections down below.

1. Global Paid Music Subscription Growth

Music Industry Statistics

Music streaming isn’t a new concept and has been at large for well over ten years now.

This particular service has seen exponential growth in recent years.

However, this wasn’t always the case, as the early years of music streaming services came with a slow burn.

Between 2010 and 2022, the number of paid music streaming subscriptions went from 8 million to 616 million.

Keep in mind that this is on a global scale, and you can expect this number to continue rising in the coming years.

The success of music streaming has made it easy for industry experts to offer predictions on the industry’s growth as time goes on.

It’s evident that music streaming’s success won’t die off any time soon.

With accessibility being a big feature for many customers, music streaming services have successfully catered to the needs of everyday listeners. 


2. Hip-Hop and R&B Dominate Streaming

It’s pretty clear that hip-hop and R&B dominate the music streaming world.

These genres accounted for 30.7% of all audio streams in the United States in 2020.

Among the many different genres of music and varying tastes among listeners, R&B and hip-hop tend to be some of the most common choices for a large portion of users.

The genres also accounted for 28.2% of all streaming, physical, and digital sales.

To see how other genres stack up, take a look at the list below, as it offers insight into music genre popularity by volume of sales in the U.S.

  • Hip-Hop/R&B = 28.2%
  • Rock = 19.5%
  • Pop = 12.9%
  • Country = 7.9%
  • Latin = 4.7%

Of course, there are many other genres that follow, but the percentages start to blend pretty close together after Latin music.

The genres listed above are the most popular in the United States and many other parts of the world.

The music industry has primarily been driven by the genres mentioned above and will continue to do so as they tend to be the most popular with the general public.

You’ll find that the state of the music industry stems from many different players.

However, there are definitely a handful that are considered to be leaders in the market.


3. Market Share of Music Publishers

Although many players take a majority of the focus in the market, independent publishers have the largest market share at 40%.

With a focus on protecting the copyright of artists’ works, music publishers service millions of individuals.

This spans from independent artists to the biggest artists in the world.

Here are a few other statistics related to music publishers’ place in the music industry:

  • Warner Chappell had a market share of 12% in 2022
  • U.S. music publishers generated $6.13 billion in 2021
  • The total expenses U.S. music publishers incurred in 2021 is roughly $2.98 billion

There’s a lot of money in music publishing, and even though it comes with pros and cons, it’s a necessary evil for the industry.

Nowadays, it’s pretty easy for independent artists to manage their own publishing thanks to a variety of self-service products.

Even with the rise of self-service technologies in the music industry, publishing companies are still seeing substantial profits.


4. Distribution of Music Industry Revenue

Streaming services may be a hot topic in the music industry, but money comes from many different angles in this market.

When you look at music industry revenue between 2017 and 2022, you can see that most of it comes from four primary sources.

In the table below, you can see the main sources of revenue for the music industry and how much revenue they bring to the table over the last few years.

Physical Sales17%12%10%9%11%11%
Digital Downloads15%11%8%6%4%3%

It’s no secret that streaming has been dominating for years, but it isn’t the only factor that’s churning money in the music industry.

Regardless, streaming will continue to dominate when it comes to revenue, as it simply has a majority of everything that music lovers want.

With streaming being as popular as it is, you can expect there to be quite a few competitors in the mix.

Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora are significant players, but there are many others that are popular in their own right throughout the world.


5. Battle of the Music Streaming Services

Battle of the Music Streaming Services

The numbers don’t lie when it comes to popular music streaming services.

It can’t be argued that Spotify and Apple Music take the cake, but there are other services that are close behind.

With over 600 million music streaming subscribers across the globe, there’s plenty of money to be made.

The chart below highlights the position of various services in the global music streaming market.

Points scored

There’s more than one reason why Spotify is dominating this space, but this doesn’t mean other services aren’t successful.

Music streaming is something that will be popular for many more years to come.

Keep in mind that the statistics mentioned so far are merely a general overview of the industry when the data can get much more complex than this.


A Look at Production and Costs

The sizable revenue that the music industry brings in on a yearly basis doesn’t come without its fair share of costs.

To produce the music and services needed to keep the industry up and running, companies have to shell out billions of dollars every year.

Of course, some companies are putting in more money than others, but when you look at it from a global viewpoint, the costs easily reach into the billions.

From artists recording in home studios to the biggest record labels in the world, there’s a lot of money coming and going in the music industry.

6. What Goes Into A&R and Marketing?

Without marketing, most artists’ music would never be heard.

The music industry is beyond saturated with music, so having an act standout takes quite a bit of money.

Many people argue this is one of the issues with the industry, but it’s simply the nature of the beast.

Taken from statistics recorded back in 2017, the A&R and marketing divisions of the music industry spent around $5.8 billion.

You should also consider how much of this money went toward marketing efforts that didn’t churn effective or profitable results.

Marketing and even A&R work can be a gamble, as not every choice that’s made will actually pan out to be beneficial in the long run.

Of course, the figure above was taken from 2017, and there’s a good chance it’s even higher for 2023.


7. How Much Does it Cost for a New Artist to Make It Big?

Unfortunately, talent is a small factor in the recipe for success in the modern music industry.

Many young artists feel talent alone should get them to fame when, in reality, millions of dollars are usually required for that to happen.

In the same vein, the amount of money it takes to break a new artist into a global market can vary significantly.

For a record label to bring a new artist to the market, it can cost anywhere from $500,000 to $2 million, depending on the approach.

It’s understandable to think this is staggering, and it’s a good example of why so many famous artists end up in debt.

Music labels tend to take advantage of artists by fronting them the money to reach fame.

The music industry can be difficult for artists to navigate, and billions of dollars are involved in marketing new and existing acts.


8. Music Markets are Growing Around the World

Even if the United States is considered to be a leading global music market, there are many other thriving markets in different parts of the world.

Starting in the U.S. market, it grew by 22.9% in 2021, and globally, the music industry will see a CAGR of 8.5% between 2021 and 2026.

When you take a look at different parts of the world, you’ll find that other cultures and genres have a vast and loyal fan base.

This has led to surprising growth in various parts of the world, some of which include North Africa and the Middle East.

In 2021, these regions of the world saw the fastest growth in the music industry, boasting a growth rate of 35% for that year.

Part of what’s aiding the success of numerous music markets throughout the world is the rise and prevalence of music streaming services.

Overall, production from every angle in the music industry is healthier than it has ever been.


Demographics, Industry Earnings, Trends, and Predictions

Anyone can expect that the music industry is a pretty diverse place on a cultural level.

Music is something that’s found in every culture on the planet, but when it comes to gender, this area doesn’t seem to be so diverse.

If you were to take a deep dive into earnings in the music industry, it’d be a never-ending rabbit hole.

There are many different ways to make money with music, and it can be broken down into quite a few categories.

As a whole, this particular topic includes a massive list of statistical data considering how long the music industry has been around.

10. Gender Gap in Music Production

Gender Gap in Music Production

Anyone who works in the music industry or pays attention to surrounding news knows that it’s a male-dominated field in most, if not all regards.

Music production is seeing a surge in interest from both men and women, but it still remains to be heavily dominated by males.

It doesn’t really matter if you break it down by age group; men make up a majority of music producers in the industry.

Data from 2020 shows that only 2% of music producers in the United States were female, while 98% were male.

This may be a significant gap, but it’s slowly starting to close as more women take an interest in modern music production. 

However, what shouldn’t be ignored is that women weren’t given much attention in music production on a broad scale until recent years.

Nevertheless, music production is more accessible than ever, and interest in the topic is on the rise.


11. Independent Artist Earnings for 2020

Thanks to available technologies, independent artists are able to make their own money in a variety of ways.

While some are undoubtedly more successful than others, the use of computers and smartphones can go a long way for an independent artist.

In 2020, independent artists generated $1.2 billion in revenue.

For those who don’t know, artists that are independent don’t work directly underneath a music label.

All of the effort and money that goes into their music is usually 100% out of their own pocket.

Between 2019 and 2020, independent artists saw a revenue growth of 34.1%, and some of this may be directly correlated to the effects of the pandemic.

For 2020, independent artists made up 5.1% of the music market based on revenue.

What’s interesting is that the music market as a whole only grew by 7% in 2020, whereas independent artists saw growth of nearly 35%.


12. Fastest Growing Music Market

North America is a dominating force in the music market, but it isn’t the fastest growing on the global stage.

Based on the current data that’s available, it seems the Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing music market right now.

This is understandable as music from this part of the world is gaining more traction on a global scale.

The internet plays a huge part in this, and it has proven to be beneficial for artists all over.

Statistics on this topic are bound to change with shifting trends, and it could look entirely different with each passing year.

No matter how you look at it, the music market thrives from every angle, regardless of how many costs are incurred.

This growth and expansion within the market is a collective effort, but there are a few organizations that are sitting at the top for a number of reasons.


13. Who are the Major Players?

Artists are a primary focus for consumers, but it’s the companies and music labels that are the driving force behind it all.

They’re the ones putting the money behind the acts and crafting the perfect recipes for success across every genre.

Every major music market has its conglomerates, many of which have had a chokehold on the industry for decades.

Some of the major players in the music industry include:

  • BMG Rights Management
  • Sony Music Entertainment
  • Warner Music Inc.
  • Kobalt Music Group, Ltd.
  • Universal Music Group

For anyone who spends time focusing on the industry, all of these names are likely to be familiar.

They’ve also all been major players in the industry for quite some time.

Many of the biggest acts and some of your favorite artists come from the guidance and support these entities have to offer.

Considering the many nuances that play into the idea of success in the music industry, people tend to ponder on predictions and what future trends might look like.

Although some of this is rather predictable, other instances come as a complete shock to the general public.


14. How are People Listening to Music on the Go?

ow are People Listening to Music on the Go?

Many people live busy lifestyles that force them to commute to work on a daily basis.

With the sea of cars that are on the roads across the world, experts have looked into how people are listening to music during their commutes.

Even with cassette and CD players, aux cords, and USB ports, AM/FM radio is still the most common audio source in cars.

However, there is a rising interest in podcasts and the different types of online radio.

In 2021, these sources of audio were the option of choice for 32% of individuals.

Radio tends to be the most accessible, but many people like to customize their experience by using their own media.


15. Trends in Physical Music Sales

With the increasing use and interest in music streaming, physical music sales have been on the decline for years now.

If you go back to 2012, physical music sales were sitting at $7.6 billion in revenue.

By 2021, this number had dropped to roughly $5 billion and continues to decline as we speak.

There are plenty of people who still appreciate purchasing physical CDs and vinyl, but it definitely isn’t the option of choice for the majority of listeners.

This decline in physical music sales has forced music businesses and artists to shift the way they market and sell their music online.

It’s one of those scenarios of if you can’t beat them, join them.

Digital music streaming will take the cake every time.

It has become such a dominant source of revenue that physical music sales are almost an afterthought at this point.


Final Thoughts

The music industry can be a complicated place for businesses and artists alike.

Although consumers don’t care much for the business side of things, they play a vital role in the growth and relevancy of the industry.

Known to be a relatively ruthless place, the music industry isn’t easy to navigate, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of opportunity available.

This article highlights the reality of music industry statistics, going to show that there’s a lot of money to be made in music.


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