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Global music spend breaks 40-billion-dollar barrier in 2023

Consumer passions for recorded music show no signs of waning, with both streaming and packaged media continuing to chart an upward trend. That’s according to the latest music industry market outlook from Futuresource Consulting. The report, released earlier in May, shows that the global recorded music market grew 14% in 2023, to achieve a retail value in excess of US$41 billion. 

“Streaming continues to lead the way,” says James Duvall, Head of Entertainment, Futuresource Consulting. “It’s enjoying another year in which it achieved significant levels of global expansion. Subscriber growth was well into the double digits, and streaming now accounts for 84% of total consumer spend on music. What’s more, all this is happening despite a hotly contested competitive landscape in most markets.” 

Differentiation is key for streaming services

To stay competitive, streaming services are increasingly solidifying their market position through differentiation strategies. The methods employed include leveraging hardware, offering enhanced listening experiences with lossless and spatial audio, and diversifying their content with podcasts, audiobooks and videos. 

“While many Western markets’ subscriber numbers aren’t increasing at previous rates, they are still hovering around the double-digit mark,” says Duvall. “Plus, last year, streaming services increased their prices in these regions, enabling them to maintain healthy levels of growth in value. But it’s the growing appeal of streaming in emerging markets that is really making an impact. 

“We’re seeing subscriptions and retail value both up more than 20% in Latin America. Asia Pacific is not far behind, with its subscriber base expanding at a rapid pace, notably thanks to China, Japan and South Korea.” 

Futuresource notes that the next five years will be of key importance to streaming services, as they will need to strengthen their position in established markets, increasing ARPU, while also developing a presence in emerging markets. 

Packaged media maintains its appeal

Vinyl continues to strike a chord with consumers, with a 13% increase in retail value in 2023, whilst volume sales surpassed 100m, the first time it has been this high in near two decades. Meanwhile, CDs also delivered a better-than-anticipated performance, with consumer spend rising 1%, to achieve $2.5 billion in sales. 

A buoyant future for music

“Over the coming years, we’re going to see the global music market continue along its growth curve, albeit with some stabilisation,” says Duvall. “By 2028, annual revenues will have surpassed US$60 billion, with streaming accounting for close to nine-in-every-ten dollars spent by consumers.” 

Futuresource Consulting’s Global Music Industry Market Outlook report provides analysis and forecasts of the streaming music subscription market and its competitive environment. The report also evaluates the wider music market, highlighting key service developments, uptake and characteristics. Included alongside market sizing is a review of key industry trends, an exploration of streaming royalty model developments, the vinyl market, the economic pressure on streaming services and an update on AI. 

For more information on this report or to make a purchase, please contact Leon at  

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James Duvall

About the author

James Duvall

James Duvall joined Futuresource as the Principal Analyst for Entertainment in November 2022. He is responsible for the delivery of all consumer research and projects across Home Entertainment, covering over twenty regions for Futuresource’s Video Insight reports, the bi-annual Living with Digital survey, and the bi-annual Music Streaming report. Before Futuresource, James spent six years leading the insight and research programme at the British Association of Screen Entertainment and the Digital Entertainment Group International (DEGI), building upon his wealth of experience within insight teams for US Studios.

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