Global Digital Music Gains Struggle to Offset Declining Physical Music Sales

Total Recorded Music Market to Decline by 1 percent in 2013 despite 14 percent Growth in Digital Music Sales

Dec 17, 2013, 08:30 ET from Strategy Analytics

BOSTON, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Global recorded music market was up 3 percent in 2012 reaching $23.7 billion and it is expected to remain flat over the forecast period according to the latest research by Strategy Analytics' Digital Media Strategies (DMS) team. The Global Recorded Music Market Forecast predicts the market will continue to be below 2009 revenue levels as digital music growth struggles to offset steep declines in physical music sales across all regions.


Key Findings:

  • Total packaged music1 sales will decrease to $13 billion in 2013—nearly half of 2007 packaged music sales
  • Digital music sales will surpass the $10 billion mark this year boosted by strong growth in both online and mobile music segments
  • Online music2 segment is expected to grow by double digit growth rates across all regions, except North America, as the region's market reaches maturity
  • Following a strong 2012 in online downloads, this segment will grow at a markedly slower rate over the next five years as spending shifts to streaming services


2013 packaged music revenue will account for 55 percent of the total recorded music market, down from 61 percent in 2012, whilst digital music is expected to grow by 14 percent to account for 45 percent of the total market this year. We believe most of the online music market growth will be generated by streaming services across all regions with revenues growing by 23 percent in 2013, accounting for 24 percent of the total online music market while online music download revenue will increase by a modest 2.5 percent. By 2018 streaming music revenue is likely to account for around a third of the online music market.

Leika Kawasaki, Strategy Analytics' Analyst, explains: "As music streaming services continue to expand across all regions, we observe the market shifting towards accessibility and availability over actual ownership of digital music. Streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer offer consumers instant access to millions of tracks across a growing number of fixed and mobile devices enhancing the value proposition and hence driving audience growth for streaming services."

Global online music will grow by around 7 percent this year however we expect flat to marginally positive growth in the US and mature Western European markets."


* Recorded music refers to single/album sales only, thus, doesn't include revenue from ringtones, concert ticket sales etc.

1 Packaged / physical music (i.e. CDs/Vinyl) purchased online is counted as physical sales not online sales
2 Online refers to streaming and downloads over all IP-connectable devices (e.g. PCs, tablets) except mobile handsets. 'Digital' refers to online and mobile combined

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US Contact: Leika Kawasaki, +1 617 614 0738,; European Contact: Ed Barton, +44(0) 1908 423 613,

SOURCE Strategy Analytics