Luminate mid-2023 data gives us a glimpse of where the music industry is this year. Let’s take a closer look at the data to better understand the pulse of the industry this year.
Luminate announced earlier this year that the global music industry has surpassed one trillion streams at its fastest pace ever – and that it only took three months to reach that milestone. It took four months in 2022 to reach these streaming levels, showing that music streaming is increasing. Physical sales have also increased across all formats, with Superfans helping to boost those sales.
Superfans drive physical sales
How does Luminate define a superfan? A music listener aged 13+ who interacts with an artist and their content in a variety of ways, from streaming through social media to purchasing physical music, merch or attending live shows. Superfans in this report were participants who self-reported connecting with their favorite music artist in more than five ways. Superfans make up 15% of the total population in the US and they influence the development of music and an artist’s relationship with their listeners.
Physical music buyers who buy CDs, cassettes, or vinyl are 128% likely to be big music fans. The data also shows that they spend 80% more money on music each month than the average music listener.
Non-English lyrical music is growing rapidly
Non-English language music is growing in popularity in the United States, particularly Latin music. Luminate’s data suggests that 40% of US listeners engage in music in another language – Spanish, French, Korean, Japanese, Italian, German and Arabic are the most popular foreign music languages for Americans.
Direct to consumer sales up 20% YoY
Physical music sales continue to grow, with 4.4 million total sales in the first half of 2023. That’s a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2022. A breakdown of the total sales data is as follows:
- Vinyl – 60.3% | 3.6 million sales (26%+ YoY)
- CD – 38.3% | 1.7 million (15%+ YoY)
- Cassette – 1.4% | 62,000 (-14.6% YoY)
Looking further at the data, the rock genre accounts for the most physical sales at 44.6%. The pop genre accounted for 12.8% of the total, followed by R&B/hip-hop at 10.9%. Recent releases account for over 60% of all direct-to-consumer product sales, but that number is low because people enjoy older music on vinyl. If only CD and cassette sales are taken into account, this figure increases to over 75%, which are actual sales and not catalog sales.
42% of Gen Z say they believe artists don’t offer enough merchandising opportunities. The generation that grew up using microtransactions in their online games understands the model from the bottom up: if you like something, you buy something to show your support. Generation Z is 33% more likely to buy artist clothing than other age groups. While 60% of the US population has purchased at least one piece of artist merch in the past. Merch matters – physical sales and apparel drive the category. Here’s a look at what the average superfan looks like for each physical category, according to Luminate data.
This drill down gets even deeper when you look at the K-pop genre and its relationship to physical sales.
K-pop fans are 69% more likely than other big genre superfans to buy a record in the next 12 months. They’re also 67% more likely to buy music to show their support for an artist. K-pop fans also drive CD sales (+46%) and cassette sales (+23%). One in four K-pop fans bought a cassette in the last year.
Ticket prices go up
The average concert-goer is now spending 40% more on concerts in May 2023 than they did in September 2022. Concert ticket prices have beaten COVID concerns for many people wanting to attend a live event. In May 2023, 58% of people said high ticket costs would prevent them from attending, while only 22% of respondents reported COVID cases in their area.
Streaming growth rate outside the US
Asia led the growth rate of non-US streaming with growth of 107% in the first half of 2023. South Africa follows with a growth rate of 83%, followed by Latin America (70%), Europe (57%). Australia and New Zealand (55%) round out the fastest growing markets.
Country music has hit a new streaming peak
The highest-ever weekly total for country music on-demand audio was recorded in the week ended June 1, 2023 at 2.26 billion streams. Morgan Wallens One after the other has accounted for 9.6% of all nationwide on-demand audio streaming since its debut on March 3, 2023.
The report also highlights the growing importance of music streaming for country music listeners to discover new music. +32% of Gen Z country listeners say they are more likely to discover music through streaming video or audio. It also shows how some of country’s biggest stars are driven by their younger audiences, with Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs being driven by millennials, while Bailey Zimmerman and Zach Bryan’s audiences are mostly Gen Z.
The full Luminate report can be found here.