I thought of the legendary punk band the Ramones a month or two ago when browsing through the latest IFPI (International Federation of Phonograph Industry) report on global recorded music sales in 2018. The band typically doesn’t come to mind when pouring over data like countries’ annual ad-supported audio streaming revenue (United States is #1) or a list of countries ranked by physical product revenue (Japan is #1).
The collective record business, comprised of labels in diverse markets around the globe, is continuing its four-year, upward path from a revenue abyss. So the song “We’re a Happy Family” (Rocket To Russia, 1977) popped into my head. A decade ago the music industry was thick with trepidation and worry. The mood is different today. Today companies are growing and money is returning.
With revenues of $19.1 billion, 2018 was the fourth straight year of growth after a decade and a half of bleeding.