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Global Music Business Saw Huge Gains In 2021 Thanks To Streaming

Streaming did over $15 billion in 2021.

streaming music
Photo: cottonbro

The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) recently released their 2021 report looking at the global music industry as a whole. The IFPI reports that the industry grew by a whopping 18.5% in 2021 to $25.9 billion, half of which was thanks to streaming. Paid subscription streaming revenues were $12.3 billion in 2021, which accounts for 523 million users worldwide. That number increases to $16.9 billion when accounting for advertising-supported (the free version of) streaming.

To get a little better idea of what the global industry looks like, here are the top 10 artists worldwide.

  • BTS
  • Taylor Swift
  • Adele
  • Drake
  • Ed Sheeran
  • The Weeknd
  • Billie Eilish
  • Justin Bieber
  • Seventeen
  • Olivia Rodrigo

The streaming numbers for the top singles too were pretty insane. The Weeknd had the No. 1 single of 2021 on streaming services with "Save Your Tears," which clocked in at 2.15 billion streams for the year.

  • The Weeknd – "Save Your Tears" (2.15 billion)
  • The Kid Lario, Justin Bieber – "Stay" (2.07 billion)
  • Dua Lipa – "Levitating" (1.88 billion)
  • BTS – "Butter" (1.76 billion)
  • Olivia Rodrigo – "Drivers License" (1.73 billion)
  • Justin Bieber (ft. Daniel Caesar and Giveon) – "Peaches" (1.72 billion)
  • The Weeknd – "Blinding Lights" (1.61 billion)
  • Olivia Rodrigo – "Good 4 U" (1.61. billion)
  • Lil Nas X – "Montero" (1.6 billion)
  • Ed Sheeran – "Bad Habits" (1.57 billion)

The only place rock really shows up is in vinyl sales (which had an insane year in the US), with Nirvana's Nevermind selling 274,000 copies in 2021 and Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon selling 272,000.

Check out the free version of the report here.

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