Music soothes pandemic blues as 2020 record sales hit high note

Turn on, tune in and stay at home. That’s what millions of music fans did in 2020, with a rise in subscription streaming leading global recorded music revenue growth of 7%.

The market reported total revenues of 22 billion dollars, marking its sixth consecutive year of growth, industry trade body IFPI said in its Global Music Report.

The year’s top five best-selling artists were K-pop stars BTS, Taylor Swift, rapper Drake, The Weeknd and Billie Eilish.

Paid subscription and advertising-supported streaming rose 20% to 13.4 billion dollars, accounting for 62% of total global recorded music revenues.

Meanwhile, physical format revenues fell by 5%. Online campaigns helped drive vinyl sales, which rose by nearly a third in the UK, their highest total since 1989.

And with concerts and festivals cancelled as countries went into lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, revenues from performance rights dropped 10%.

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