Music industry revenues in review – what 2022 tells us about 2023 – Music Industry Blog
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Music industry revenues in review – what 2022 tells us about 2023 – Music Industry Blog

With a 2023 set to be a challenging year for the global economy, it is a good time to look at how the music industry has performed in the year to date. That is exactly what we have done in our forthcoming report: ‘Music industry earnings Q3 2022: Pre-recession growth’. We have tracked the performance of leading labels, publishers, DSPs, and live companies across the globe to create a holistic view of how the music business is performing across rights, distribution and live. Here are a few highlights that provide useful pointers as to how 2023 might shape up.
These are the key trends for revenue growth for Q1-Q3 2022 compared to Q1-Q3 2021:
Recessions have a habit of being self-fulfilling prophesies, with companies slowing down spend in anticipation of a coming slowdown, thus slowing down revenue growth for their suppliers, who then pass on the same cut backs to their suppliers and so forth. Despite all this, music rights and streaming may be well placed in the recession.
The lipstick effect
The case for music lies in lipstick, of all places. During previous recessions, lipstick sales boomed, representing an affordable luxury for consumers who could no longer afford the big-ticket items that they had been saving for or were used to buying. Music subscriptions may play an affordable luxury role, the soundtrack to evenings spent at home, when going out is a cost too far.
The early 2020s saw an influx of capital into the music business, with the promise of music rights being an asset class that was uncorrelated with the wider economy. The irony is that, as music catalogue investments slowed (due to rising costs of capital), the first nine months of 2022 saw the music business deliver a performance that suggests the industry is indeed setting a path that is not being pulled down by recessionary conditions as much as many other industries. There were areas of concern, of course, but the overall picture so far is a positive one.
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