The recorded music market in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) grew by 24.7% in 2023, according to IFPI, the organisation that represents the recorded music industry worldwide. Figures released today in IFPI’s Global Music Report confirm that in 2023, SSA once again had the highest growth rate of any region, and was the only one to surpass 20% growth, climbing by 24.7%, largely fueled by gains in paid streaming revenues (+24.5%). South Africa remained the largest market in the region contributing 77.0% of the region’s revenues and grew by 19.9%.

Commenting on developments in the region, IFPI Director Sub-Saharan Africa, Angela Ndambuki said: “It’s an exciting time for the music industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. Without a doubt, the strategic investment by the record companies over the years in the region has catapulted the growth of the region’s recorded music industry. Streaming numbers have grown year on year and the potential of the region is promising especially with the spectacular performance of African artists on the global stage.

“The region’s collective management industry now more than ever must intentionally and positively exploit revenue generation opportunities in the performance rights sector both in broadcast and public performance. IFPI continues to support the MLCs to spur compliance, especially among broadcasters who continue to exploit sound recordings without fairly compensating record companies and self-released artists. There must be concerted effort by stakeholders including government, users of music and industry players to work towards improving policies and compliance to grow the region’s music business. This is Africa’s moment; we must not lose the momentum.”

Global recorded music revenues increased by 10.2% in 2023, driven largely by growth in paid streaming subscribers, according to IFPI, the organisation that represents the recording industry worldwide. Figures released today in IFPI’s Global Music Report show that total trade revenues reached US$28.6 billion in 2023, the ninth consecutive year of growth.

Streaming revenues accounted for the majority of revenue growth and total share of the market. Subscription streaming revenues alone grew by 11.2% and made up almost half (48.9%) of the global market. In 2023 the number of paid subscriptions to music streaming services passed 500 million for the first time and there are now more than 667 million users of paid subscription accounts, with household penetration varying greatly by country.

There was strong growth in other formats too with a double-digit percentage increase in physical revenues (up by 13.4%) and gains in income from performance rights (up by 9.5%).  This is the third consecutive year in which both digital and physical revenues have increased simultaneously.

There was a positive story of growth across the globe as the work and investment from record companies contributed to every region experiencing revenue growth in 2023. Five of the world’s seven regions posted double-digit percentage gains.

Commenting on the release of the Global Music Report, IFPI’s Chief Financial Officer and Interim Joint Head of IFPI, John Nolan, said: “The figures in this year’s report reflect a truly global and diverse industry, with revenues growing in every market, every region and across virtually every recorded music format. For the third year in succession, both physical and digital formats grew with a strong rise in the users of paid streaming subscribers – as well as price increases – contributing significantly to total revenue growth.”

“This growth results from record companies’ sustained investment in artists and their careers – more than US$7.1 billion annually on A&R and marketing* alone – and the impact it has on music ecosystems all over the world. Fans are increasingly valuing music, with unprecedented choice and access to new releases, with 2023’s IFPI Global Charts including a diverse range of new genres and artists. This is testament to the talent of these artists, the passion of their fans, and the work of record labels both in championing artists and providing the best possible foundations for their global success.

“Music has shown time and time again that it can evolve and innovate but the report demonstrates it is the partnership between artist and label which is at the heart of the growth of music markets worldwide with the ensuing positive impact these have on their local economies.”

Adding to this, IFPI’s Chief Legal Officer and Interim Joint Head of IFPI, Lauri Rechardt said: “The sustained growth of the recorded music market is encouraging, but it’s also right for us to acknowledge the challenges the industry faces, including streaming fraud, digital piracy in all its forms and, of course, the threat from the abuse of generative artificial intelligence if it is not developed responsibly and with respect for artists’ and labels’ rights. 

“Music fans greatly value authenticity and our industry has a strong track record of licensing music and supporting the development of new services that create these experiences for fans. That said, we still need effective tools and the support of authorities to tackle unauthorised uses and to ensure the music ecosystem remains one that is sustainable for the long-term.”

Growth in the world’s regions:

USA & Canada +7.4%

Representing the greatest share of global recorded music revenues (40.9%), there was a gain of 7.4% in 2023 in the USA and Canada. Revenues grew at a faster rate than in 2022 (+5.1%). Revenues from the USA, the world’s single largest recorded music market, rose by 7.2%. In Canada, another top 10 market, revenues jumped by 12.2%.

Europe +8.9%

Representing more than a quarter of global revenues (28.1%) after revenue growth of 8.9%, Europe remained the second largest region in the world for recorded music revenues in 2023. The region’s three biggest markets all recorded healthy growth: the UK (+8.1%), Germany (+7.0%), and France (+4.4%).

Asia +14.9%

The third largest region globally, revenues in Asia rose by 14.9% in 2023, driven by strong gains in physical and digital revenues, and continuing a multi-year upward trajectory. The two largest Asian markets saw healthy growth: revenues from Japan, the world’s second biggest market, were up by 7.6% and there was steep growth in China (the fifth largest market) of 25.9%, the fastest rate of increase in any top 10 market.

Latin America +19.4%

In the fourteenth consecutive year of revenue growth, recorded music revenues in Latin America rose steeply in 2023 by 19.4%, once again outpacing the global growth rate. There were double-digit percentage climbs in revenues in Brazil (+13.4%) and Mexico (+18.2%), the region’s largest markets. Streaming was the key driver and made up 86.3% of the region’s revenues.

Australasia +10.8%

Australasia posted double-digit percentage growth of 10.8% in 2023, an increase on the 8.3% rise in 2022 and boosted by an increase in subscription streaming revenues (+13.5%). Revenue growth accelerated in Australia, a global top 10 market, up by 11.3%. In New Zealand, revenues increased by 8.4%.

Middle East & North Africa +14.4%

Streaming revenues dominated once more in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with a 98.4% share of the market in that region. Total MENA revenues rose by 14.4% in 2023, exceeding the global growth rate.

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