5 Countries Showing Big Streaming Gains In 2016


1Although it’s had a rough past decade or so, things seem to be improving for the global recorded music market, with at least five different countries showing massive gains in streaming in the year 2016, according to a recent handful of data.

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Guest Post by Glenn Peoples, Music Insights and Analytics at Pandora on Medium

Things are looking up for the global recorded music market.The few publicly available 2016 results show these countries’ recorded music markets on the rise. Large streaming gains have overshadowed declines in other formats. All key markets’ 2016 performances will be revealed a few months in the IFPI’s annual report. However, mid-year figures show a handful of countries had double-digital or high single-digit improvements.

Here are five markets with known full-year metrics.

1United States In 2016, according to Nielsen Music, on-demand audio streams increased 76 percent, CD sales fell 16.5 percent, digital album sales shrank 20.1 percent, and digital track sales dropped 25.0 percent. Note that Nielsen Music’s metrics are units, not revenue. As for revenue, the only publicly available figures are mid-year point metrics from the RIAA: total recorded music revenue was up 2.4 percent at wholesale thanks in part to a 111.7-percent gain in premium subscription revenue. If the RIAA follows previous schedules it will release full-year results within a few months. (Sources: Nielsen Music, RIAA and Billboard)

Japan In 2016, physical audio sales were down 3 percent, and CDs, which account for 98 percent of physical audio sales, declined 2 percent. Through Q3, streaming revenue was up 60 percent and single track download revenue was down 9 percent. (Source: Recorded Music Association of Japan)

Germany In 2016, audio streaming revenue rose 73 percent and took 24.3 percent share of the market. Germans still love the CD; its sales fell 9.6 percent and were still 53.7 percent of the market. Download sales dropped 19.4 percent and had a 12.3 percent market share. (Source: Billboard)

France In 2016, audio streaming revenue increased 55 percent and total recorded music revenue was up, although SNEP, the French recorded music industry’s trade group, is waiting until February 28 to reveal details. (Source: Music Business Worldwide)

Spain In 2016, premium streaming revenue rose 37.4 percent, to €62 million, advertising-supported streaming rose 24 percent to €25 million euros, and vinyl LP revenue increased 19.6 percent. The total recorded music market grew 1.7 percent. (Source: Billboard)

As go these markets, so goes global trends. These are five of the larger music markets in the world . The US, Japan and Germany are 1, 2, and either 3 or 4, respectively (sometimes UK is 3….I don’t have the most recent list in front of me). France is 5 and Spain is a top 15 market. Their market size gives them great influence over global revenue changes. Smaller markets might have larger growth but they have also account for a much smaller share of global revenue.

This article is a follow-up to the one I wrote a few months ago about countries’ full-year streaming and total revenue prospects based on their mid-year performances. As for smaller markets, mid-year numbers suggest their full-year results will also be positive. Mid-year total revenue was up 23.2 percent in the Netherlands, up 9.4 percent in Finland, up 8.6 percent in Sweden, up 7.8 percent in Norway, and up 6.5 percent in Belgium.