Global music sales grew for the fourth year in a row in 2018 with streaming now making up for almost half of all label revenue, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) Global Music Report 2019.
The music market is now worth $19bn (£15bn), close to the level of 2006, and the popularity in streaming subscriptions is being thanked for saving the industry.
In February, IFPI named Drake as the world’s best-selling recording artist of 2018 following the success of his fifth studio album, Scorpion.
The Canadian rapper was followed closely by K-Pop band BTS, who hold the second biggest album with Love Yourself: Answer. 2018’s biggest selling album was The Greatest Showman soundtrack, which sold 3.5 million copies.
Multi-billion dollar industry
Yes! K-Pop seems to be the new multi-billion dollar industry. In 2018, the South Korean music market experienced a 17.9% increase in revenue growth, and it was described as “shifting from ‘potential’ to ‘power player’”. The country also ranked at No. 6 among the top 10 music markets worldwide.
While revenue for physical sales declined by 10.1% worldwide, countries like Korea, Japan and India actually saw increased growth. In fact, Asia became the second-largest region for “physical and digital music combined for the first time”.
Although Spotify hasn’t launched in Korea, K-pop artists widely upload their work to the streaming platform as well as collaborate on projects such as personal playlists. Last year, BTS became the second most-streamed group on Spotify behind Imagine Dragons.