The MBW Assessment is the place we intention our microscope in the direction of among the music biz’s greatest latest goings-on. This time, we drill down right into a outstanding set of numbers contained inside MRC Knowledge‘s new report on the US music trade in 2021. The MBW Assessment is supported by Instrumental.
You couldn’t say that 2021 was gentle on blockbuster album releases.
There was Adele, after all, whose 30 raced out of the blocks in November to grow to be 2021’s biggest-selling (as in, conventional album gross sales, not together with streaming) album within the US.
In January, nation artist Morgan Wallen launched Harmful: The Double Album, which was the US’s greatest album general in 2021, in addition to being its greatest when it comes to streaming (with 3.65 billion audio streams alone).
There was additionally, to select a number of, Olivia Rodrigo’s Bitter (the US’s No.2 greatest document in 2021), Drake’s Licensed Lover Boy (No.3), and Doja Cat’s Planet Her (No.6).
We all know all of this due to numbers contained in a new annual report launched in the present day (January 6) by US market monitor, MRC Knowledge.
But we additionally know, because of that very same report, that 2021’s greatest success story within the US had nothing to do with a brand new launch: it was ‘catalog’ music.
In line with MBW’s calculations utilizing MRC’s numbers, ‘catalog’ data accounted for a surprising 82.1% of complete recorded music consumption within the US within the second half of 2021.
You already know what that should imply: ‘present’ data made up simply 17.9% of US music consumption within the final six months of 2021… or lower than a fifth of the market.
What’s extra, complete consumption (that’s gross sales plus streams) of ‘present’ music truly fell, in actual phrases, by 37.4% within the second half of 2021 in comparison with the identical interval of 2020.
Earlier than we get into the nitty gritty, two necessary caveats:
- (i) Our 82.1% catalog determine refers to complete music consumption throughout streaming and digital/bodily gross sales; MRC doesn’t get away streaming-specific numbers on this subject.
- (ii) ‘Catalog’ music in MRC’s eyes counts as something launched over 18 months earlier than a shopper made a purchase order and/or pressed play. ‘Present’ music is within the inverse: any music launched inside the prior 18 months of the second a shopper made a purchase order and/or pressed play.
Nonetheless, the sheer scale of the streaming-driven dominance of catalog music within the US throughout 2021 will come as a shock to many within the music enterprise.
In any case, throughout the 12 months of 2020, in accordance with MRC’s report for that 12 months, catalog claimed simply 63.2% of the whole US market.
Wanting on the stats for simply the second half of 2021, that determine had superior by practically 20%.
For the information followers on the market, right here’s how MBW bought to our 82.1% determine for ‘catalog’ in H2 2021.
Final 12 months, as it’s possible you’ll recall, MRC Knowledge launched numbers which confirmed catalog music had claimed a (then-whopping-seeming!) 66.4% of the US document market within the first half of 2021.
Now, in its newest report, MRC Knowledge has delivered contemporary numbers for the entire calendar 12 months, which exhibits catalog claimed 74.5% of the annual US market in 2021.
Clearly sufficient, getting from 66.4% within the first half of 2021 to 74.5% for the total 12 months will need to have meant that within the second half of 2021, catalog’s share of the US market shot up.
And so it proves: In line with MBW’s calculations utilizing MRC’s numbers, the US noticed ‘Whole Album Consumption’ (TAC) of catalog data hit 376.7 million within the July-December 2021 interval.
In that very same six-month interval, ‘present’ data claimed simply 82.0 million TAC.
You possibly can see the total quantity breakdowns within the charts under, however it’s value printing one other little caveat first, explaining precisely how MRC Knowledge calculates its TAC numbers (which cowl each single tracks and albums, in addition to streaming and gross sales).
MRC’s ‘complete album consumption’ (TAC) metric bundles collectively bodily and digital album gross sales with single-track downloads and (on-demand) streams, with these single-track downloads and streams transformed into ‘album equal’ items. To attain this, MRC converts each 1,250 premium streams or 3,750 ad-supported streams of tracks on an album right into a single ‘sale’ for that LP. It does the identical for each 10 downloads of tracks from a single album. This method is designed to be ‘income reflective’ – for instance, with 1,250 premium streams roughly producing the identical amount of cash as a single album.
So what’s driving such an enormous leap in catalog’s share of the trendy US document enterprise?
One issue that may be inferred from MRC’s information is the speculation that older customers more and more adopted music streaming through the Covid-era of 2021.
MRC’s analysis means that 89% of US listeners aged between 56 and 74 are actually utilizing streaming providers to play music within the States.
That compares effectively to the equal determine for this age vary in markets such because the UK (41%), Brazil (63%), and Germany (37%).
Elsewhere in MRC Knowledge’s new report, the org additional reveals that vinyl format noticed gross sales improve 51.4% year-on-year in 2021, as much as 41.7 million – a bigger quantity sum than annual CD gross sales (40.6m).
No matter is driving older music’s mushrooming dominance of the US document trade, it’s not solely affecting the market share of ‘catalog’ and ‘present’ data.
In line with MRC’s report, gross sales/streams of ‘present’ data (i,e. these launched within the earlier 18 months) truly fell year-on-year in actual phrases, too:
- Throughout the whole thing of 2020, says MRC, complete album consumption (TAC) of ‘present’ data amounted to 269.3 million.
- Throughout the whole thing of 2021, says the org, the equal determine amounted to simply 228.1 million – a year-on-year decline of 15.3%.
But in the identical 12 months of 2021, complete on-demand streaming quantity within the US elevated 9.9% YoY to 1.13 trillion. And complete album consumption (TAC) noticed a YoY improve of 11.3%.
Set towards the backdrop of this rising market, the shrinking presence of latest music within the US document trade might depart some frontline document labels scratching their heads.
It might additionally, nonetheless, depart sure catalog music acquisition specialists grinning from ear to ear.
The MBW Assessment is supported by Instrumental, one of many music trade’s main progress groups for unbiased artists. Instrumental makes use of information science to establish the quickest rising unbiased artists on the planet after which supply funding, premium distribution and advertising help to take them to the subsequent degree, with out taking their rights.Music Enterprise Worldwide