The Music Industry By the Numbers Graphs


Most of us listen to one form of music or other. Some may be a fan of classical music while others would love more rock music. The different genres of music have given birth to various trends in the music industry that has led to the overall rise and evolution of music all over the world. There are thousands of musicians all over the world as well as associations to promote music such as Billboard 100. Ultimately, the music industry has grown really big. We can evaluate that with the help of the following graphs. 

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Global Recorded Music Revenue from 1999 – 2020 (In billion US. Dollars)

Global Recorded Music Revenue

The music industry has a set pattern of a rise and fall and then a rise once again. This has been particularly noticed in the 20 year period from 1999 and 2020. From the graph, we can see that the global recorded music revenue was $25.2 billion. This has been the highest of all time. Following 1999, the revenue kept decreasing until it reached $14.2 billion in 2014. A positive trend has been seen afterward as the revenue reached around $23.1 billion in 2020. In the future, we can expect the global recorded music revenue to increase further but at a gradual pace. 

Number of Music Streaming Subscribers Worldwide from 2010 – 2020

Number of music streaming subscribers worldwide from 2010 to 2020

A number of music streaming services have been introduced in the industry which allows subscribers to listen to new music in high-quality audio. This has allowed many artists to provide their music content in an easily accessible manner to their subscribers. There has been a steep rise in the number of music streaming subscribers in the last 10 years. In 2010, there were only 8 million subscribers which crossed the 100 million mark in 2016. In the next three years, there was a three times increase in the number of music subscribers which reached 341 million. By 2020, this figure reached a whopping value of 443 million subscribers.

the US Paid Music Subscriptions

U.S. Paid Music Subscription

The US Paid Music Subscriptions have been quite erratic over the past few years although there has been an increase in the number of music streaming subscribers worldwide. The main reason for this could be the easy access and availability of the same music on free source platforms such as Youtube. In 2014, the US paid music subscriptions amounted to $22.7 million which kept increasing up until 2018 when they reached a figure of $46.9 million. There was a dip seen in 2019 when the US Paid music subscriptions were only amounting to $16.4 million. By 2020, there was a massive comeback as the figure reached $75.5 million. 

The 20 Best Selling Singles of All Time

The 20 best-selling music singles of all time

Some songs go viral and break all the records because they have the perfect composition of music and lyrics in such a way that it becomes highly appealing for the listeners. The following graph shows how some songs such as Baby by Justin Bieber, Love the Way You Lie by Eminem, and Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran crossed 12 million certified sales each. Other songs by Katy Perry such as Dark Horse and Firework have also crossed 11 million certified sales each. From the graph, we can see that Eminem and Katy Perry have the most number of certified single sales.  

Top 20 Selling Albums of All Time

Top 20 Selling Albums of all time

While some artists are lucky enough to have their singles break all records, others are way luckier with getting their albums breaking all records. Although there have been many albums that have performed exceptionally, “Their Greatest Hits (1971 – 1975) of Eagles” has been on the top with 38 million sales. This is followed by Thriller released by Micheal Jackson which has gotten over 36 million sales. Other artists having top-selling albums of all time include The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Garth Brooks as well. 


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