December 15, 2021
Once an industry on the decline, the music business is stronger than ever. Revenues grew by 7.4% in 2020, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents the interests of some 8,000 members across the globe. This growth was thanks in part to an 18.5% increase in paid streaming revenues.
But who are the main players in the music space, and how are they faring amid the recent expansion we’ve seen recently? Let’s take a look.
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (Tii:SIRI)
This satellite radio provider is hanging tough and keeps increasing annual revenues. Even while streaming services are gaining popularity, the brand’s strong relationships in the auto industry secure its status as the darling of the in-vehicle musical hook-up. Pandora, a subsidiary of SiriusXM, is the largest ad-supported audio entertainment streaming service in the U.S. SiriusXM and Pandora together reach more than 100 million people each month with its audio products.
Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (Tii:LYV)
This company makes our list because of its ability to market live concerts globally. The company that owns ticket giant Ticketmaster took a beating during the COVID-19 pandemic when concerts, like all in-person events, all but dried up. Coming out the other side, Live Nation Entertainment is poised to roar back, with a plan to increase concert bookings in 2022. Now that restrictions have eased, concert-goers hungry for music will ensure this brand keeps growing. Speaking of growth, the company recently acquired a 51% controlling interest in OCESA Entretenimiento, a leading promoter in Latin America. This move expands Live Nation’s global live entertainment platform.
Spotify Technology S.A. (Tii:SPOT)
Spotify is a pioneer in the streaming services space, and the company continues showing it knows what it’s doing. With more than 70 million tracks and a footprint that covers 184 countries, Spotify has had a strong year. Its subscription base grew 24% in 2020, even with fierce competitors like Apple. The company reported monthly active users (MAUs) grew 19% year-over-year in its third quarter to reach 381 million listeners. Spotify looks primed and ready to continue growing into 2022 and beyond by providing the streaming music and popular podcasts consumers want.
Apple Inc. (Tii:AAPL)
Apple is a brand that keeps going longer than the Energizer Bunny. Its Apple Music streaming service has driven profits in the past two years. The proof is in the numbers: In 2020, Apple Music’s gross margin easily outpaced the brand’s other product lines. The tech giant, which posted a September quarter revenue record of $83.4 billion, a 29% year-over-year increase, should continue enjoying its increasing servicing revenues.
IHeartMedia Inc. (Tii:IHRT)
IHeartMedia blends the old idea of broadcast radio stations with modern online streaming. Its website claims the company reaches a quarter of a billion listeners and 9 out of 10 Americans a month. IHeartMedia audio covers more than 860 live broadcast stations, and digital service spans more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices. Revenues, generated primarily from advertising, reached $928 million in the company’s third-quarter – a 25% increase from the same period last year.
Warner Music Group (Tii:WMG)
Let’s not forget the old-school record labels. This recording and publishing company is also a powerhouse in the music business. Its music brands include Elektra, Asylum, and Atlantic Records, making Warner Music one of the world’s leading music publishers, thanks to a catalog of more than 1.4 million copyrights. For its fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, total revenue grew 19% on double-digit digital revenue growth.
Large segments of the music industry suffered in 2020, but many seem to be on the comeback trail – making 2022 an exciting year for the industry. It may well be entertaining to see what happens.