• Half Step Rock Editorial

World’s biggest recorded music market - the USA, vs. A country yet to show up on the list - India.

Updated: Mar 8

While the U.S. remains to be the world leader in terms of music industry size, India, home to one of the world’s oldest and culturally rich civilisations, struggles to capture the 15th spot on the list.


At present, India has the second- largest population in the world. It is the world’s seventh-largest economy, and also one of the fastest-growing.

In India, an average internet user spends 21.5 hours every week listening to music, vis-a-vis the global average of 17.8 hours7. The Indian recorded music industry was sized at INR 1,068 crore (USD 156 million) in 2018. The industry grew 24.5% in 2018.





Revenues from recorded music in the United States grew 13% in 2019 from $9.8 billion to$11.1 billion at estimated retail value. This is the fourth year in a row of double-digit growth, reflecting continued increases primarily from paid subscription services, which reached more than 60 million subscriptions in the United States. Revenues from recorded music measured at wholesale value grew 11% to $7.3 billion.


Here are some key insights measuring the health of music industry in both these nations - some stark gaps to worry about and the scope of growth as reported at the end of last year.


  • Streaming revenue amounting to INR 745 Cr. showed a 30.9 % growth and was the main contributor and accounted for 70% of overall revenues, in India. Total revenues from streaming music in the U.S. grew 19.9% to $8.8 billion in 2019, accounting for 79.5% of all recorded music revenues. The streaming market alone in 2019 was larger than the entire U.S. recorded music market just 2 years ago in 2017.

  • Total 2019 subscription revenues of $6.8 billion were up 25% versus the prior year, and accounted for 61% of total recorded music revenues in the U.S. Revenues from on-demand streaming services supported by advertising (such as YouTube, Vevo, and the free version of Spotify) grew 20% annually to $908 million. Whereas, subscription streaming revenues grew by 33.3% from INR 73.2 Cr (US $10.7m) to INR 292.8 Cr (US $42.8m) and ad-supported audio streaming income – the free tier of services– rose by 43.6% to INR 78 Cr (US $11.4m) to INR 257 Cr (US $37.7m), in India by mid 2019.

  • Digital sales in the form of digital downloads accounted for 8% of revenues from the India music market and is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2020-2024) of -2%, resulting in a market volume of US$19m by 2024. Whereas, the U.S. saw a dip of 18% to $856 million in 2019, marking the first time since 2006 that revenues from downloaded tracks and albums fell below $1 billion.

From retailers, including streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, keeping more money and paying less of percentage to Labels and Artists, to Music Streaming relying heavily on a stable and fast mobile internet connection – a technical requirement that still many countries in the world are lacking and Vinyl records making a major comeback in 2020, the changing landscape of global music industry is sure to see some interesting times to come, including it's two important contributors – India and the USA.


Source: RIAA Report 2019|Recorded music industry in India by Deloitte|India Digital Music Study by IMI

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