The streaming dominance continues: Global recorded revenues climbed 9.8% in 2023, fueled by digital music

The digital music industry continues to dominate the international scene. In 2023, the global recorded music industry saw a resurgence, setting the stage for a new era of innovation and transformation.

Last year, the recorded music industry reached $35.1 billion, marking a remarkable 9.8% growth from the previous year and doubling the figures since 2015, according to the latest report by MIDiA Research.

Global recorded revenues 2023

The rise of digital music streaming

Central to this transformation lies the digital streaming phenomenon. Streaming remains the favorite format among listeners worldwide as they can access and engage with music instantly anywhere.

With plenty of streaming services at their fingertips, including the likes of Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, Tidal, or iTunes/Apple Music,  listeners can enjoy a vast catalog of songs anytime, anywhere, and on any device with an internet connection.

While consumers’ behavior switched from physical formats and downloads to audio, video, and live streaming in the past years, the recorded music market is now more diversified.

Streaming keeps reigning in the music industry. Music streaming revenues grew by 9.6% and hit $21.9 billion in 2023.

Moreover, subscription-based streaming services provide users with a cost-effective alternative to purchasing individual albums or tracks.

Streaming has also emerged as the primary form of distribution for both major and independent record labels and music distribution companies.

For a monthly fee, listeners can have unlimited access to millions of songs featuring tracks by their favorite artists and discoveries.

With the rise of music streaming format coupled with the expansion of DSPs worldwide, artists, labels, and distributors can now reach global audiences, expanding their revenues, and fostering a more inclusive and fairer musical landscape.

As technological advancements and user preferences continue evolving, streaming remains at the forefront of the music ecosystem, shaping the way users discover, consume, and interact with music while providing music professionals with new options for distribution and promotion.

Digital music promotion and white-label distribution

Exploring new horizons in today’s ever-evolving music scene is a must for music companies that want their music distribution company to stand out from the crowd and amplify their artists more visible on streaming platforms with new marketing promotion strategies.

White-label music distribution platforms like SonoSuite offer plenty of opportunities for launching artists’ music catalogs across top streaming services such as YouTube Music, Spotify, Meta (Facebook and Instagram), or TikTok.


Independent labels are in the spotlight, as the market share went up in 2023 for the fourth consecutive year, reaching 31.5%.

When it comes to expanded rights, the growth came thanks to Korean labels, which accounted for nearly 70% of independents’ expanded rights revenue.

Beyond digital: The music industry explores other formats for growth

While music streaming continues to play a pivotal role, in 2023 we also witnessed a revival of alternative formats, physical releases in particular.

This trend reflects a more diversified music scene and offers artists and labels new sources of revenue.

Additionally, other methods have emerged through the past year to drive revenue and engage with fans through various channels, including the monetization of exclusive content and merchandise.

What’s next for the music industry?

The future of music appears to be digital, with streaming keeping its position as the first option for promotion, distribution, and discovery.

Other formats like physical releases and fandom content monetization also present great opportunities to diversify revenue streams and expand industry reach.

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality are expected to play a key role in transforming music consumption and creation.

AI-driven algorithms are currently being used to offer personalized music recommendations, catering to individual preferences.

Virtual reality platforms offer immersive experiences to listeners, allowing them to enjoy music at a whole new level. As an example, we’ve seen some artists recently offering virtual concerts and interactive music videos.

All in all, the future of music will be connected to technology, offering artists and labels new opportunities for revenue generation while providing users with a more personalized experience.

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