News 22 March 2024

Streaming drives fifth consecutive year of growth

The Australian recorded music industry posted its fifth consecutive year of growth in 2023, with wholesale sales rising 10.9% to $676 million, their highest level ever since the addition of digital sales in 2005.  

Streaming drives fifth consecutive year of growth

New data released today by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) shows the industry growth is fuelled by the ongoing growth in digital sales including streaming.

Streaming and vinyl albums were the star performers, rising ahead of the total market. Subscription services increased their share of total music sales, up 13.9% to $467.6 million, or 69% of the industry, while sales of downloads fell 14.7% to $16.4 million.

Ad supported streaming models posted a 15.3% jump in revenue, to $68.3 million. Total digital sales were up almost 12%, to $616.1 million, representing 91% of all music sales.

Sales of vinyl albums continued to march ahead, up 14.1% to $42.1 million. Vinyl represented 70% of total physical sales in 2023 by dollar value and 42% of physical sales by volume. Thanks to vinyl, the combined revenue of all physical products was up 2.9%.

Compact discs declined again, with revenue down 16.1% and volume sales down 19.1%, while sales of music videos and DVDs crashed 33% in both revenue and volume sales.

ARIA Chief Executive Officer, Annabelle Herd, said: “The data paints a clear picture: music is a big business in Australia. Five years of growth for any media business is exceptional in this market, but we need to be careful to draw the distinction between growth of Australians consuming music overall, and the growth of Australians consuming new and local music. While we should be excited that music continues to be a great business, we are focussed on ensuring more of that pie comes back to Australian artists.

“While Australia remains the 10th largest music market in the world – and Aussies clearly love music – it remains harder than ever for our local artists to reach these audiences. The end of year ARIA Charts paint a clear picture of this, with only four Australian albums in the top 100 for 2023 and three singles, none of which were released last year.

“Achieving cut-through becomes increasingly difficult for artists as the growth rate of subscription and ad supported streaming models continues to increase year on year, while nearly all other growth rates have eased compared to 2022. Vinyl for example, while still growing, has slowed nine percentage points compared to 2022’s growth figure of nearly 23%. This means music consumption continues to concentrate on the platforms where it is hardest to discover new music and most tempting to play catalogue favourites.

“We are fortunate that compared to other major global markets, our growth rates paint a favourable picture for the future of music in Australia. Music is valuable, it is popular and it is growing. We look forward to working with the industry and government to ensure that message is heard and that value is increasingly used to support our incredible local talent.”

The full sales figures and infographic may be viewed here.