The music industry is composed of companies and individuals who earn money by producing new songs and pieces and selling live concerts, endorsements, and recordings. This industry is a big part of the entertainment world, and the good news is it seems to be growing like never before. But how much do we actually know about this industry? Here are some interesting facts about it!
1. The First Version of YouTube
The first version of YouTube was launched in 2005 by Jawed Karim and his co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, when they were still students at Stanford University. They used PayPal as their funding source to build an online video sharing platform in March 2005, which went live on October 23rd of that year as “YouTube.”
2. Global Music Sales Have Been Growing Massively
Global music sales have been growing steadily since 1998, increasing from $28 billion to $60 billion between 1998 and 2008. However, since then, sales have dropped by over 20%. In 2011, digital downloads surpassed physical sales for the first time in history, accounting for 51% of all music sales worldwide. 
3. Digital Sales Have Overtaken Physical Sales
In 2011, digital sales overtook physical sales for the first time ever; physical products represented only 43% of total global recorded music revenue. In 2012, digital sales were responsible for more than half (53%) of the global record industry’s revenues; however, this percentage has declined slightly over time as physical formats continue to decline relative to digital formats. 
4. The Best-Selling Album Ever
The Thriller album by Michael Jackson has sold over 100 million copies since its release in 1982, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. 
5. Elvis Presley and His Band
Before rock and roll became popular, Elvis Presley and his band played country music. They often performed at concerts and radio shows sponsored by the Southern Country Music Disc Jockey Association, later renamed the Country Music Association (CMA).
6. Swing Music Became Popular in America in the 1930s
During the 1930s to mid-1940s, a new type of music called swing music became popular in America. It was a combination of jazz and blues that was played by big bands like Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. Swing music made its way around the world — even to the Nazi Party headquarters in Germany! 
7. The First Song Ever Written
The oldest known melody is “Hurrian Hymn No. 6,” an ancient Hurrian religious song dating back to the 14th century BC. The song was discovered on a clay tablet in Turkey and is written in cuneiform—a script made by pressing a wedge-shaped stylus into damp clay tablets. However, the world’s oldest surviving musical composition is the Greek tune called the “Seikilos Epitaph”—an engraved marble column found in Turkey that dates back to AD 100. 
8. The Music Industry’s Worth is 31 Billion
The whole music industry is worth a whopping 31 billion US dollars (as of 2022), with digital revenues accounting for around 50% of total revenue generated by all recorded music formats, including physical and digital sales of albums, singles, and ringtones, as well as streaming services like Spotify which currently boasts 182 million paid users worldwide.  
9. Miley Cyrus’ Real Name
Miley Cyrus’ real name is Destiny Hope Cyrus; however, she doesn’t prefer that name much and legally changed it to Miley Ray Cyrus when she turned 18 in November 2008. 
10. Ed Sheeran Wrote His Hit Song for His Girlfriend
Ed Sheeran wrote his hit song “Thinking Out Loud” about his girlfriend Cherry Seaborn, whom he first met when he was a kid studying in Sheffield; they became official around New Year 2016 after dating in secret for two years while Ed was still dating Ellie Goulding; they got engaged in 2018 and married on January 2019. 
11. The Oldest Living Person Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The oldest living person who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is Tony Bennett, at age 88 years old! He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 when he received an Award for Excellence for his entire body of work, as well as being recognized as one of America’s greatest popular music artists.
12. The Number 1 Selling Single of All Time
The highest-selling single of all time is a song called White Christmas. It was written by Irving Berlin and recorded by Bing Crosby in 1942. It has sold over 50 million copies worldwide, and it is the best-selling single of all time. 
13. The First Commercial Music CD
The first music CD was released in 1982 by Billy Joel. It was a collection of songs from the previous two decades called “The Stranger.” The album sold more than a million copies.
Before this, music had been available on vinyl records, 8-track tapes, and cassette tapes. Then came the compact disc (CD), which offered improved sound quality over vinyl records. CDs were originally introduced in 1982 as a rival format to the cassette tape, but they quickly became the dominant medium for recorded music sales. 
14. The Invention of EDM
EDM was invented in America by a man named Frankie Knuckles and his DJ partner, Jamie Principle. They called their genre “house” and played it at nightclubs like The Warehouse in Chicago and The Loft in New York City. These clubs were so popular that people would line up outside for hours to get inside.
Also known as disco, house music was later taken to Europe, where it became known as techno music. In fact, electronic pop music today is often referred to as Eurodance or Europop because of its popularity in Europe during the 1980s and 1990s.
15. Spotify is the Most Popular Music Streaming Site
Spotify is the most popular music streaming site on earth, with more than 422 million active users every month. It’s available in 58 countries and has over 70 million songs available for streaming. That’s roughly 15 times as many songs as are available on iTunes or Amazon Music Unlimited. The service offers both free and paid plans — but if you pay $9.99/month for Spotify Premium, you can listen to any song or album wherever you want, whether it’s by a brand new artist or one from decades ago.
16. People with High Intelligence Love to Listen to Heavy Music
People who have higher IQs tend to enjoy heavier music genres like rock and heavy metal. This may be because people with high intelligence are more open-minded than people with lower IQs. If you enjoy heavier genres of music, it doesn’t mean that you are less intelligent than others. It just means that your tastes are different from the mainstream audience. 
17. The First Record Player was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison
Edison invented a device called a phonograph which was capable of recording sounds onto cylinders which could then be played back later on other phonographs or similar devices. This device was considered one of Edison’s many inventions during his lifetime, including electric light bulbs, motion picture cameras, and even an electrical railway system!
18. Music Helps Reduce Stress Levels
According to research, listening to music reduces stress levels and lowers our heart rate and cortisol levels! That’s almost equivalent to, or more than, other methods like deep breathing and meditation! The best part is that this effect lasts for up to two hours after your listening session ends, so you can listen before bed or during your commute home from work and still feel less stressed out afterward. 
19. The Live Music Industry is Big
Live concerts are an important part of the music industry’s income. Live shows can be a big source of revenue for musicians, as well as venues and promoters. In fact, many of these companies rely on live music to stay afloat. Research suggests that concertgoers spend about 145 dollars on average on tickets alone, which is huge for any business. 
Moreover, live music is still growing despite the popularity of digital streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Live shows generate more money than recorded albums or downloads because they deliver an experience that cannot be replicated by software alone.
20. Jimmy Savile was The World’s First DJ
Jimmy Savile, an English DJ and television personality launched the world’s first DJ dance party in 1943 by playing jazz records at a nightclub in Otley, England. Now considered a pioneer in the world of DJing, he became the first DJ to use twin turntables for continuous play in 1947 and became a radio DJ at Radio Luxembourg in 1958. Also, in 1947, the Whiskey à Go-Go nightclub opened in Paris, France, considered to be the world’s first commercial discothèque or disco. 
The internet has offered a great platform for artists to reach out to their fans worldwide. Gone are the days of traditional media where electronic music was recently recognized. Major record labels have taken note and found themselves embracing this movement by signing independent artists that have gained popularity online. The music industry and landscape has shifted and will continue its upward trend even more so as technology continues to shape the way we listen to, produce and share music.