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34% global streaming growth uplift: Luminate releases 2023 year-end music report

 Global On-Demand Audio Song Streams Broke the 4 Trillion Mark for the First Time 

Share of English-Language Music Consumed Declines, Down Nearly 11% Globally Since 2021 (Amongst Top 10K Most Streamed Songs) as Hindi grows

The Report Includes Genre Analysis in Ex-U.S. Markets with Dance / Electronic music proving popular in Vietnam and Hungary and K-Pop finding fame with fans in Peru and Turkey




TodayLuminate, the entertainment industry's most essential data partner, released its 2023 Year-End Music Report. As in previous years, this report provides a quantitative look at the top trends that defined the global and U.S. music businesses in 2023, from genre shifts and new super fan insights to global listening trends and the relationship between film, TV and music discovery. The report also includes the definitive Year-End Charts, presented in partnership with Billboard, whose charts Luminate (formerly operating as Nielsen Music/SoundScan) has been fueling since 1991.

Luminate's new country-level streaming data, a new offering for Luminate's industry partners in its new data platform, was used to create the report, providing genre analysis for a myriad of markets outside of the U.S. The new offering follows last year's unveiling of Luminate's new global data platform, operating now in Beta.

Speaking on the release of the report and the new international data offering, Rob Jonas, CEO, Luminate, said, "As the trend of global streaming expands, evidenced by a +34% surge in 2023 according to our data, Luminate is committed to enhancing the international scope of the data and insights we provide. We're pleased to present this report, fueled predominantly by our new country-level streaming data and amplified by insights from our audience research. We aim to capture the trends that defined the music industry over the past year across 50 diverse markets. It also reflects the innovative strategies our team applied in managing data in 2023, including new partnerships with companies such as Deezer, Melon, Flo and Anghami. We look forward to continuing that collaborative approach in 2024."


Global music streaming volumes reached new records in 2023 while Taylor Swift dominated US consumption

The global total on demand song streams (audio+video) was 7.1 trillion (up 33.7% year on year), while global on-demand audio song streams broke the four trillion mark for the first time in 2023, totalling 4.1 trillion streams (up 22.3%). 436k tracks (ISRCs) were streamed 1 million or more times globally in 2023, up 16.7% from 373.5k tracks in 2022.

In the U.S., On-Demand Audio streaming grew +12.7% to 1.2 trillion in 2023, accounting for approximately a quarter of all songs streamed globally. Consumption of Catalog music[1], i.e. tracks older than 18 months, continued to grow in the territory, increasing by 0.4% to 72.6% compared to 27.4% of Current music consumption. A closer look at the US market revealed:

      Taylor Swift made up 1.79% of the U.S. market (Albums w/ TEA w/ SEA On-Demand Audio) and 1 in every 78 U.S. Audio streams.

      Female artist representation in audio stream volume within the Top 500 most streamed artists in the U.S. grew +4.2 percentage share points between 2022 and 2023.

      The U.S. average music streaming spend increased in 2023, but Gen Z listeners reported spending 11% less on music streaming services per month when compared to 2022.

      Tracks released in the last 5 years (2019-2023) make up 48.3% of U.S. audio streaming when analyzing the Top 500k tracks.


Concert films and music documentaries boosted music streaming

In 2023, the increasing influence of film, TV and on-demand platforms like Netflix boosted music discovery and streaming metrics for both current and heritage artists:

·         The release of the Wham! Netflix documentary in July had a positive impact on the music streaming metrics of both Wham! and George Michael. In the three weeks following the documentary's release, there was a 21.2% surge in combined global music streaming, and the duo secured their first Christmas Number 1 with 'Last Christmas,' 37 years after the song's initial release. 

·         Taylor Swift, Talking Heads and Beyonce also enjoyed a significant boost in their on-demand global audio streaming performance in the three weeks after the release of their concert films in 2023: Taylor Swift with an astonishing 42.46% increase, Talking Heads with 14.10% and Beyonce with 24.57%.


Continued rise of world music adding downward pressure on English language streams

The share of English language on-demand audio and video in the Top 10K Global Tracks continued to decline since 2021 (-11%), while Hindi-language content grew alongside India's streaming market in the same period (+4%).

The streaming share of English language audio and video remains the most popular globally at 54.9%, down from 67% in 2021; Spanish language music follows in second place at 10%, with Hindi at 7.8% (up from 3.8% in 2021), Korean at 2.4% and Japanese at 2.1% (up from 1.5% in 2021).


A snapshot of the listening trends in the U.S. market revealed:

      The streaming share of English language audio and video amongst the Top 10K streaming tracks in the U.S. decreased by 3.8% since 2021, while Spanish-language content grew +3.8% in that same timeframe.

      Six Latin Music artists achieved 1B+ On-Demand Audio streams in the U.S. (Bad Bunny, Peso Pluma, Eslabon Armado, Karol G, Junior H, Fuerza Regida) with each of these artists in the U.S. Top 125 for 2023 Audio streaming.

      63% of Gen Z and 65% of Millennials agree they "listen to new music to experience new cultures & perspectives."

      Multilingual music listeners are more likely to discover music via movie soundtracks (+34%), exclusive TV shows from streaming platforms (+36%), and video games (+50%).

      Multilingual music listeners are 42% more likely than the average music listener to say "having access to music by global artists" is important when choosing a streaming service.


Genres enjoy cultural crossover outside of traditional territories whilst World Music, Latin and Country experience strong growth in the U.S.

A global analysis of the Top 100 songs of a specific genre showed where tracks are performing strongly outside of traditional home regions. Outside of the U.S., Dance / Electronic music accounted for the most proportion of streams in Vietnam, Slovakia, Croatia, Malaysia, and Hungary; whilst K-Pop proved popular outside of APAC with music fans in Peru, Turkey, Bolivia, Romania and Ecuador. The report also highlights the growing global listenership for Afrobeats, Country, U.S. Hip Hop / Rap and Latin music.

In the U.S., World, Latin and Country music saw the fastest growth in on-demand audio streaming activity by percentage change: World, which includes K-Pop and Afrobeats (+26.2%); Latin (+24.1%); Country (+23.7%).

      Gen Z and Millennials are powering country artists to new streaming heights:  

      Gen Z Country Listeners in the U.S. are 48% more likely to discover new music through video and/or audio streaming services than the average U.S. consumer and +16% more than other Gen Z music listeners.

      Gen Z Country Listeners in the U.S. are 64% more likely to listen to playlists shared by family and friends than the average U.S. consumer and +16 % more likely than other Gen Z music listeners.

      Regional Mexican Music grew +60% in U.S. On-Demand Audio streams:

      U.S. Regional Mexican listeners see higher concentrations along the west coast and through the Southwest in states like Texas. This listenership aligns with Census demographic trends illustrating hispanic population patterns in the U.S. With 47% of Latin fans discovering new music via Friends and Relatives, the tie to culture is evident.

      U.S. Hip-Hop consumption in 2023:

      In a year when Hip-Hop celebrated its 50th anniversary, the genre continues to lead all others in U.S. consumption (Albums w/ TEA w/ SEA On-Demand Audio).

      However, Current vs Catalog U.S. On-Demand Audio streaming reveals that R&B/Hip-Hop Current streaming is down 7.1% in volume since 2022 while Catalog grew 11.3%.


Catalog music paves the way for virtual concerts and other XR experiences

As well as the impact of concert films and audiovisual content on streaming figures, the report highlights further key trends in the consumption and creation of music, focusing on the growth of physical formats and the success of virtual experiences for legacy artists.

The success of the ABBA Voyage virtual concert tour launched in May 2022 for a minimum 2-year run, has opened up new revenue streams for other legacy acts.

·         Swedish band ABBA saw a global surge of on-demand audio streams right after the launch of its virtual concert tour ABBA Voyage in London. In 2023, audio streams of the band were 16.7% higher than in 2022.

·         More than 20% of Pop Top 40 UK listeners are more likely to tune into a live streamed / virtual music performance or event if the artist is performing top hits and old favorites, when compared to the average UK music listener.

·         In The U.S., live music attendees are +170% more likely to attend a virtual concert than the average U.S. music listener.

  • Millennials who attend live events and virtual concerts on average spend 3X more per month on music activities than the average U.S. listener.


Super Fans drive music sales in CDs, vinyl and merch

A closer look at the world's largest recorded music market – the U.S. – reveals the influential role that Super Fans play in driving the surge in sales for CDs, vinyl records, and music merchandise.

      U.S. direct-to-consumer (D2C) market sales were up 38.6% in 2023 to amount 11.8m; vinyl D2C sales were up 39.8% year-over-year and CDs up 12.9%. Additionally, over 60% of all U.S. D2C sales were current titles.

      18% of U.S. music listeners are Super Fans.

      Super Fans spend +76% more on music per month than the average U.S. music listener.

      Super Fans spend +126% more on artist merch than the average music listener.

      The average K-Pop fan is 50% more likely to purchase merch for a music event they did not attend and reported $30.20 as the optimum price for T-shirt merch.


Soundtracks and syncs are key sources for music discovery

      Movie theater goer behaviors in relation to music:

      U.S. movie theater goers are 70% more likely to have attended a live concert in the last 12 months than the average U.S. consumer.

      59% of U.S. movie theater goers say they like watching live streamed performances by music artists, which is 13% more than the general population.

      Millennials who listen to predominantly Black music genres (Afropop, Gospel, Hip-Hop/Rap, Jazz, R&B and Reggae) are more likely to choose entertainment content that helps "connect with my culture/identity/values."

      42% of female Gen Z consumers are likely to discover new music through film and film soundtracks, which is 20% more than the general population.


The Music Plays Forever

Note: This section details the smaller number of publicly reported music acquisition deals this year (citing PitchBook) and offers a look at how interest rates affect loan costs. There is then an immediate case study of the ABBA Voyage Tour and how this avatar / virtual experience impacts streaming activity. To cite our own data for this executive summary we've included stats on US virtual attendees.

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