Consumption and music market in 2019 (in figures)
The year that renewed hope expired. This will be remembered by the music industry in 2019, when for the fifth consecutive time the numbers were favorable and predicted the definitive lift-off. Then COVID-19. What seemed like one more respiratory disease ended up becoming the great pandemic of the 21st century, almost synchronized in a chilling way with the century that distances us from the Spanish flu.
In a few months the "live" industry collapsed and it is not yet known when it can get back on its feet. If this chaos has served one thing, it is to revitalize the old discussions that exist about the payment of rights to artists and authors, which are ultimately the ones who have taken the worst slice of this new era of streaming. Lobbies to readjust royalties have gained strength; Several voices are pushing for the payment distribution system of the main platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, YouTube Music to be modified (from a common boat, as it works today, towards a system based on real consumption of the users); and platforms such as Bandcamp and Patreon, which promote a more direct relationship between users and artists, are experiencing a second youth.
The music industry generated $ 20.2 billion in 2019, driven by the increase in paid subscriptions to streaming platforms, which have become the dominant model for consuming music, and had 341 million at the end of the year of users. Latin America drastically decreased consumption of download and other digital formats to migrate by leaps and bounds towards streaming.
Physical sales continued to plummet, but on a smaller scale than in previous years, experiencing slight increases in some markets such as the United States and Spain, and also helped by the persistent revival of vinyl. Although with more discreet numbers, there was also a slight increase in income from synchronization and performance rights.
The IFPI Global Recording Artist list combines consumption in all formats and all countries for each calendar year. On this occasion, it highlights how seven artists repeat the previous year (Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Queen, Ariana Grande, BTS, Drake, Lady Gaga), which makes us think about the low mobility of the consumption of the most mainstream music; as well as the emergence of the phenomenon Billie Eilish, the young and disruptive artist, and the entry of a catalog band like The Beatles, driven by the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the launch of the mythical Abbey Road.
En ese sentido, a excepción de la notable irrupción de abanderados de la cultura de la generación Z como la californiana Billie Eilish y del rapero cowboy Lil Nas X, no hay nada nuevo en un listado convencional de los diez hits más vendidos. Pop and business, as usual.
Do not feel bad if, like us, you had no idea who ARASHI is (it turns out that she is a veteran Japanese boy band who has been celebrating 20 years of artistic career), responsible for the best-selling album of 2019. Its success is explained when we remember that Japan It is not only the second largest music market by country in the world, but it is also the last great bastion of the sale of physical records. The Bohemian Rhapsody hangover arrived in 2019 and was joined by Abbey Road, which turned half a century. It is to be expected that these small shakes in the rock catalog will occur in the coming years, protected by the celebrations of certain ephemeris. It is worth noting that only eight albums managed to sell more than a million copies; If some confirmation was needed that the record as a mass cultural object lost all relevance, here is the proof.
The numbers for the actual impact of COVID-19 will be slow to come; Today what we have are these optimistic results, a reflection of the previous year, and which have been collected by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI for its acronym in English). As is tradition, we share them with you again, this time in alliance with elTOQUE. Despite what these happy charts say, don't get too excited; we are in the presence of an old family photo in which many members will not appear again for a long time.
Cuban music magazine, without distinctions of genres or geographies.