On-demand streaming services have helped the record industry reach heights not seen in a decade. In 2017, services like Spotify and Apple Music helped grow the industry by 8.5 percent, pushing revenues to $17.4 billion, according to MIDiA Research data.
Through Dec. 31, the streaming sector grew by 39 percent, or $2.1 billion, to $7.4 billion. Meanwhile, “legacy” formats such as downloads and physical media declined by $783 million.
In total, the streaming sector accounted for 43 percent of record industry revenue in 2017.
The high water mark for the record industry was in 2008 when revenue topped $17.7 billion. Until 2016, revenue decreased as people began moving away from physical media and downloads. Now, Spotify (71 million paid customers), Apple Music (40 million), among others of streaming services have picked up the slack.
Universal Music retained its market leadership position in 2017 with revenues of $5,162 million, representing 29.7% of all revenues, followed by Sony Music ($3,635 million / 22.1%) while Warner Music enjoyed the biggest revenue growth rate and market share shift, reaching $3,127 million / 18%. Meanwhile independents delivered $4,798 million representing 27.6%. However, much additional independent sector growth was absorbed by revenue that flowed through digital distribution companies owned by major record labels that were thus reported in major label accounts.