• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Sub-Saharan Africa pushes global recorded music revenues to $28.6 billion

Sub-Saharan Africa pushes global recorded music revenues to $28.6 billion

The recorded music industry continued its upward trajectory in 2023, with global revenues rising 10.2 percent to $28.6 billion, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

This marks the industry’s ninth consecutive year of growth. Sub-Saharan Africa was the standout performer, achieving the fastest growth rate of any region at 24.7 percent. This growth was fueled by a surge in paid streaming revenues, which climbed 24.5 percent. South Africa remained the largest market in the region, contributing 77.0 percent of regional revenues and experiencing growth of 19.9 percent.

Latin America continued its impressive growth streak, with recorded music revenues rising 19.4 percent in 2023. This marks the region’s 14th consecutive year of revenue growth, which once again outpaced the global growth rate.

Streaming remained the key driver, accounting for 86.3 percent of regional revenues. Brazil (+13.4 percent) and Mexico (+18.2 percent), the region’s largest markets, saw double-digit percentage growth.

Asia, the third-largest region globally, saw revenues rise by 14.9 percent in 2023. This growth was driven by solid gains in both physical and digital revenues, continuing the region’s multi-year upward trajectory. The two largest Asian markets reported healthy growth: Japan, the world’s second-biggest market, experienced a 7.6 percent increase, while China (the No. 5 market) saw the fastest growth rate of the top 10 markets at 25.9 percent.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region saw streaming dominate the market again, with streaming revenues accounting for 98.4 percent of the total. Total MENA revenues rose 14.4 percent in 2023, exceeding the global growth rate.

Australasia reported double-digit percentage growth of 10.8 percent in 2023, an acceleration from the 8.3 percent recorded in 2022. This growth was driven by increased subscription streaming revenues (+13.5 percent). Revenue growth accelerated in Australia, a global top 10 market, was up 11.3 percent. New Zealand also saw revenue rise by 8.4 percent.

Europe, representing more than a quarter of global revenues (28.1 percent) after revenue growth of 8.9 percent, remained the second-largest region in the world. The region’s three biggest markets – the UK (+8.1 percent), Germany (+7.0 percent), and France (+4.4 percent) – all recorded healthy growth.

The USA and Canada, the world’s largest recorded music market, saw revenues rise by 7.4 percent in 2023, representing the greatest share of global recorded music revenues (40.9 percent). This growth surpassed the rate achieved in 2022 (+5.1 percent). The US market grew by 7.2 percent, while Canada, another top 10 market, recorded a surge of 12.2 percent.

Globally, streaming revenues accounted for most of the revenue growth and claimed 67.3 percent of the total market share. Overall streaming revenue growth of 10.4 percent to $19.3 billion was down on the 11.4 percent increase from 2022.

Subscription streaming revenues grew by 11.2 percent (up from 10.1 percent a year earlier) and made up 48.9 percent of the global market. In 2023, the number of paid subscriptions to music streaming services passed 500 million for the first time, and there are now more than 667 million users of paid subscription accounts. However, IFPI noted that household penetration varies greatly by country.

In recent months, labels and streaming platforms have been cutting staff to prepare for a new era of tech and entertainment, including the impact of generative AI and attempting to better service superfans.

Experts weigh in

Commenting on the 2023 IFPI report, African music executives highlighted that the shift towards embracing diverse genres and cultural exchange has driven creativity and expansion in the African music market.

Tunji Balogun, chief executive officer (CEO) of Def Jam Recordings, emphasised the importance of partnerships for fostering regional development.

Christel Kayibi, Director of Repertoire Strategy at Sony Music Africa, underlined the growth potential across various African genres beyond Afrobeats. “Amapiano is gaining global traction,” she said, “but other artists and genres are poised for the spotlight. A&R departments must prioritise artist development and sustainable careers in Africa and internationally.”

Simon Robson echoed the excitement surrounding African music’s global potential. “Music from diverse genres transcends borders,” he noted. “The market is still developing but shows strong growth. We need to strengthen internal markets while exporting African music’s immense potential.”

Alfonso Perez-Soto, President of Emerging Markets at Warner Music, offered a broader perspective on emerging markets. “They showcase the strength and quality of music globally,” he said. “With DSPs and social media connecting artists and cultures, great music will win and reach audiences previously inaccessible.”

These statements reflect the growing trend in the music industry. Major labels are forging partnerships with regional players to cultivate talent and tap into the vibrant music scenes emerging worldwide.