Nov 6, 2023 2 min read

Will Page study concludes that total music copyright revenues in 2022 grew 14% to $41.5 billion

Economist Will Page has published his annual study looking at the total value of the global music rights sector - confirming further impressive growth in 2022

Will Page study concludes that total music copyright revenues in 2022 grew 14% to $41.5 billion

Economist Will Page has published his annual study on the value of the wider global music rights business, concluding that in 2022 "music copyright was worth $41.5 billion - up 14% from 2021".

For this study, Page first pulls in previously published data from IFPI and CISAC, but then fills in the gaps left by those reports in order to get the full picture of the music rights business at large.

"Labels made up most of the 2022 stack", he notes in a breakdown of the $41.5 billion, "with an adjusted $26 billion, and publishers directly licensed $4.1 billion; but the real story this year is the [song right collecting societies], whose collections topped $11.4 billion".

CISAC recently reported that society collections were up 28% in 2022. Though that was in part because of a post-COVID resurgence in revenues from the live and public performance of music. Given that some of the uplift on the songs side comes from a post-COVID revival, Page asks whether the continued growth of the music rights sector that we saw in 2022 is a blip or a trend.

"Three factors point to the latter", he then says. First, “live music today is far bigger than it was pre-pandemic, albeit lopsided in favour of stadiums and festivals". Second, inflation is often embedded into the blanket licences of the collecting societies, and there’s lots of inflation at the moment. And third, digital growth is also significant on the songs side, plus performance collections in 2022 were still below pre-pandemic levels, meaning there is more room for improvement.

He then notes: "The labels’ digital income growth shows signs of slowing down, especially in western markets. Yet, in what feels like an episode of ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, this slowdown is being offset by the resurgence in adjusted physical income which has exploded by over $1 billion since 2020, thanks to accelerating demand for CDs in Asia and insatiable need for the ‘platters that matter’ in Europe and America. And this isn’t going to slow down".

You can read Page's full study below.

It’s official: music’s a $40bn business. Global Value of Music Copyright ramps up 14% to $41.5bn in 2022, with publishers clawing back share — Pivotal Economics
First thing’s first: Why do I go into a bat cave every October and calculate this figure? The primary answer is policy. There’s an axiom in lobbying circles that politicians are more likely to respond to bigger numbers than smaller ones. This work gives us that number.
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