Taylor Swift Had A Monster Year, As Did The Music Industry - Global Recorded Music Revenue Grows 10.2% As Streaming Booms

The biggest music artist, Taylor Swift, brought in more money this year than most corporations. According to an estimate from Billboard.com, she generated a whopping $1.82 billion in 2023. 

Swift, in a record-setting year that included being named TIME Person of the Year and winning both Album and Song of the Year at the 66th GRAMMYs, made much of the 1.82 billion on the back of her Eras Tour, which grossed over $1 billion including ticket sales and merchandise. 

The Industry

But it wasn't just Swift and her business partners that made major money last year. According to the annual IFPI report, global recorded music revenue topped $28.6 billion, rising 10.2% YoY.

An alternative report from MIDiA Research puts the global number at an even more impressive $35.1 billion. Although the IFPI report has traditionally been considered the industry standard, many people see MIDiA's research as reflecting the nuances of the modern industry more accurately. This is because it includes expanded rights revenue – income like the $764 million Universal Music Group UMG collected from its wholly-owned merchandising subsidiary, Bravado, and almost $2 billion in income that independent artists collected via self-publishing on digital platforms.

Streaming Reigns Supreme 

Streaming was once again a major driver in growth for the industry. As IFPI's Chief Financial Officer and Interim Joint Head, John Nolan, put it, "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."

The IFPI report puts global subscription streaming revenues at $14 billion, growing 11.2% YoY and accounting for nearly half of the entire market.

Users around the world, especially here in the US, increasingly consume media via their smartphones, preferring streaming services to physical media or digital purchases and streaming companies have benefited greatly. Spotify SPOT added a net 31 million premium users in the same year they raised their subscription prices by 10% in most markets.

Other streaming services like those from Apple AAPL and Amazon AMZN have followed suit.


As the music industry continues to grow, investing in the space could be worth considering. ETFs can be an attractive option for those who wish to leave the deep analysis and research to a team of experts.

The MUSQ Global Music Industry ETF MUSQ is a thematic ETF that provides concentrated exposure to the complete music ecosystem, covering streaming, content and distribution, live music events and ticketing, satellite and broadcast radio, equipment and technology, and artificial intelligence. 

The fund is well diversified and includes streamers like Spotify (3.36%) and Apple (6.12%), device makers like Sonos SONO (2.46%), as well as major labels like Universal (2.81) and Sony SONY (3.40%).

Featured photo by Chaz McGregor on Unsplash.

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