Business

We’ve come a long way together, and that’s just the beginning…

The following exclusive op/ed was written for MBW by Mitch Glazier, President and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). RIAA today (March 9) issued Official US music market annual sales figures for 2021.

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With total sales up 23% year over year, today is 2021 recorded music sales report continues one of the most incredible comeback stories in modern commercial history.

After all, more than twenty years ago, music faced a fierce transition in the face of devastating piracy. It takes a while to find the right approach, but we don’t give up, embracing new technologies while protecting creators’ work and building creative partnerships with artists in new and mutually beneficial ways. Today, that work is paying off in a beautiful musical boom, providing new opportunities and revenue streams for artists, labels, musicians, publishers, digital services, and the whole world. music community suite – while giving fans unprecedented experiences, choice, access and value.

Usually, all of this would be cause for celebration. But this is far from normal times.

The world faces a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine after a global pandemic that has lasted for two years and is continuing to grow. No financial recovery can exceed the dire numbers these crises have identified. In fact, for too many people in our extended musical family – road crews, venue staff, touring bands, orchestras and live musicians, and many others – the possibility Financial recovery is still near.

We are a single music community and the RIAA and our members work every day to fully restore music creators – including relief efforts and new business opportunities. . And we won’t rest until the entire music community can participate in the recovery process.


We recognize that, for many people, the crux of this report is the top figure of $15 billion in total recorded music sales.

In nominal terms (not adjusted for inflation), that was the highest annual sales figure in our industry history, surpassing the $14.6 billion reported in 1999, just before Digital piracy wipes out more than half of the economic value of recorded music. But in inflation-adjusted dollars, last year’s figure was 37% lower than it was in 1999. We still have plenty of room to grow – reaching and surpassing music’s historic values.

There are other messages included in today’s report as well, such as new levels of choice for artists and fans reflected by the diversity of genres and formats. This year, our release includes US revenue from TikTok music for the first time, drawing on the creative work of studios to license new apps, services, and formats.

By format, streaming is still the most popular – accounting for 83% of total sales – but vinyl and CDs are both hugely profitable, with vinyl surpassing $1 billion in sales for the first time in 35 years. and CD sales increased 21% in a year. . As different formats and technologies thrive, it creates new avenues for diverse styles and vocals, from classical to jazz, reggae to punk.

“In inflation-adjusted dollars, last year’s figure was 37% lower than it was in 1999. We still have a lot of room to grow – hitting and surpassing the historical values ​​of music.”

Incredibly strong growth across the industry is recorded in this and prior to report speaks to the dynamic and vibrant creative and commercial relationships that today’s labels have built with their artist partners. The labels didn’t simply reinvent themselves, they helped transform the entire process of creating, discovering, and distributing music to enhance creative freedom and artistic expression while meeting fans. wherever and whenever they want.

Equal Billboards recently, “as the music business has moved from one of its lowest points to another period of growth and strength, record labels have rapidly changed to be at the forefront of that change and uphold their value to a new generation of artists.”


No one is more invested in new artists and their music than record labels. A recent study found double-digit growth in the number of new artists choosing to sign contracts. And all around us, a rising generation of urgent new voices is shaping culture – from Olivia Rodrigo help launch the White House vaccination campaign, to Doja Cat releases first codable music video with Code girlslet Dua Lipa rule TikTok Trends and Emojis in Fortnite.

Artists and brands have pioneered new ways to build meaningful moments together based on the core principles of shared success, innovation without boundaries and innovation. daring in creativity. The result is an incredibly vibrant period that offers new opportunities, platforms and experiences – from music-enabled fitness apps to gaming-streamed concerts to exclusives. vinyl must-haves to surprise global digital album sales. Creative genius has opened up new ways to drive shared commercial success and record payouts for artists.

“No industry in history has embraced changing technologies and innovations faster than music over the past ten years – taking streaming from novelty to ubiquitous in the blink of an eye and now working to drive a new generation of social apps, rich experience sharing and future opportunity blockchain/NFT. ”

All at a time when artists have never had so many avenues – including with or without and how with labels: from self-manufacturing to working with DIY distributors to full relationships and services with labels. Labels help drive commercial opportunities for artists while shaping culture and inspiring a new generation of fans.

For labels, today collaborating with artists means delivering unique creative and commercial value – the expertise needed to break through at a time when more than 60,000 tracks are uploaded a day. the only streaming service everyday. Labels help artists find new audiences for both top and category music to create and maintain value for more tracks for longer.

Turning a period of deep recession into years of growth leading up to today’s revenue reports is testament to the power of the modern artist-label partnership. For a forward-looking industry, nothing is obvious, celebrate the unique power of music to connect and inspire, while refusing to stand still or accept the status quo.

No industry in history has embraced changing technologies and innovations faster than music over the past ten years – taking streaming from novelty to ubiquitous in the blink of an eye and now working to drive a world of change. New social application system, rich experience sharing and blockchain/NFT future opportunities.

And despite all the successes we’re reporting today – record companies and their artist partners have been moving towards new and innovative musical experiences and connections that will define tomorrow.

We’ve come a long way together, and that’s just the beginning…Worldwide music business

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/mitch-glazier-on-2021-riaa-results-a-long-way-together/ We’ve come a long way together, and that’s just the beginning…

Fry Electronics Team

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