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Global Recorded Music Market Up 18.5% in 2021...

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...with total revenues of $25.9 billion. This is according to the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry). They attribute the increase to paid subscription streaming. Streaming revenues themselves increased by 21.9% to $12.3 billion, with 523 million paid subscribers to streaming services. So basically, in 2021 half of all revenues for recorded music are for streaming.


Based on what the IFPI calls "consumption across all formats and all countries, weighted based on the value of each method of consumption," the top 10 global artists are:



Taylor Swift



Ed Sheeran

The Weeknd

Billie Eilish

Justin Bieber


Olivia Rodrigo


That's 2 K-pop, 2 R&B, and the rest nominally pop. All of them had a top 10 single except for Billie Eilish. Lil Nas filled her place in the top 10.


So, same as it ever was...music sales skew toward a younger demographic, and there's a reason why a "pop" music gets its name :)



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I’m only surprised to see rap and it’s sub genres (hip hop, g funk, gangsta, drill, etc.) not dominating top streamed artists.  That list looks a lot like kids streaming on their Apple Music/Spotify family plans.  The geezers paying the bills must still be splitting their listening time with FM, Siruis XM, CD, cassette and LP. ;)

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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Well, two 

17 minutes ago, ElmerJFudd said:

I’m only surprised to see rap and it’s sub genres (hip hop, g funk, gangsta, drill, etc.) not dominating top streamed artists. 


Well, two out of the top 10 are theoretically hip hop, but both the Weeknd and Drake are more like crossover artists who incorporate a variety of styles. Also remember this is a global study...I'm sure the results for USA-only would show hip hop ruling the charts, and some rock bands would be in there, too.

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Electronic music is sooo turn of the century. But that was 20 years ago, so it's time for the electronic revival. 



I've been waiting for the next thing too...apparently it's still hiding out somewhere.


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I think the youth market has always consumed the most music, at least since music got recorded. And perhaps in the sheet music era before the 78RPM became common.


Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington were loved by the kids of the day, so were Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Grandmaster Flash, and right on up to Billie Eilish. And it doesn't matter that she hasn't scored a top 10, after all Jimmy Buffett only scored one top 10 hit, Margaritaville which went to number 8. Yet, Margaritaville is arguably the most valuable song ever written, worth billions when you add the nightclubs, retirement villages, and all the other items under that brand.


Older people don't buy as much music, probably because there are mortgages, college funds, IRAs, inflationary grocery prices, utilities, and so on. Not to mention the expense of having children on a day-to-day basis. So the priorities drift from owning or streaming new music to necessities and other forms of entertainment/escapism.


Older people tend to like to listen to memories, and when gigging, that's what we give them. As they get older, a faithful rendition of their youthful music is appreciated but not necessary. A personal twist on the tunes is fine with them, and some people have complimented our take on classics, telling me they like a particular song better than the original.


My father was an exception, but he was a musician and played trumpet, violin, ukulele, and later in life organ (with bass pedals). It wasn't his trade, it was his hobby. He had a closet the size of a linen closet full of LPs. He would constantly buy new ones, and his tastes ranged from big band jazz to classical to pop to international to country to show tunes.


Like my father, I like listening to different types of music, and enjoy a lot of current pop, but I have a tender spot for the songs I grew up with, especially those during my youth through my on-the-road gigging years in singles bars and later concerts. Even the not-so-good songs will bring a smile to my face if I haven't heard them for a long time.


On the other hand, the songs I disliked as a youth haven't changed one bit, I still don't like them. Every generation of music has its share of music that swings from terrible to good, and those extremes are different for different people. What I may hate, others may love.


So for me there are two kinds of music, music I like, and music made for someone else's ears.


And the youth, with little or no financial responsibilities, will be the driving force for the recording industry for the foreseeable future.


And I don't buy as much music as I did as a child. I have over 1,000 CDs and almost that many albums. It takes something extremely special and different for me to add it to my collection.


Insights and incites by Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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