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 will be able to get back on its feet. If this chaos has been of any use, it is to revitalize the old discussions that exist about the payment of rights to artists and authors, who are ultimately the ones who have taken the worst slice of this new era of streaming. The lobby to readjust the royalties they 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 like 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 increased paid subscriptions to streaming platforms. streaming, which have become the dominant model for consuming music, and had 341 million users at the end of the year. Latin America drastically reduced the consumption of downloads and other digital formats to migrate by leaps and bounds towards the 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 the vinyl. Although with more discreet numbers, a slight increase in income from synchronization and execution rights was also perceived.
The IFPI Global Recording Artist list combines consumption across all formats and all countries for each calendar year. On this occasion, it stands out how seven artists repeat from the previous year (Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Queen, Ariana Grande, BTS, Drake, Lady Gaga), which suggests the low mobility of the consumption of the most popular music. mainstream; 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 release of the legendary abbey road.
In that sense, with the exception of the remarkable irruption of champions of the Z generation culture such as the Californian Billie Eilish and the rapper cowboy Lil Nas X, there's nothing new in a conventional top ten list hits Best sellers. Pop and business, as usual.
Don't feel bad if like us you had no idea who ARASHI is (turns out she's a veteran boy band Japanese who was celebrating 20 years of artistic career), responsible for the best-selling album of 2019. Its success is explained when we remember that Japan is not only the second music market by country worldwide, but it is also the last great bastion of the sale of physical discs. hangover from Bohemian Rhapsody reached 2019 and was added the abbey road, which turned half a century. It is to be hoped that these small jolts of the rock catalog will take place in the coming years, protected by the celebrations of certain anniversaries. It is worth noting that only eight albums managed to sell more than a million copies; If any confirmation was needed that the record as a mass cultural object has lost all relevance, here is the proof.
The numbers of the real impact of COVID-19 will take time to arrive; 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 partnership with the touch. Despite what these happy graphs 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.