ARIA sales data shows 15-year high for Australian recording industry
Australia’s recorded music industry hit a 15-year high in 2021, with wholesale sales posting a third consecutive year of growth and reaching their highest level since 2006. New figures released by the Australian Recording Industry Association ( ARIA) reveal wholesale sales of $565.8. million in 2021, up 4.4% from $542 million in 2020 and up 20.7% from $468.7 million in 2017.
The strong growth in recent years reflects the rise of streaming, which accounted for 86% of music sales in Australia last year.
Total digital sales reached $509.7 million in 2021 (90% of all sales), up from $368.1 million in 2017. Over the same period, physical music sales grew from 100, $5 million to $56.1 million.
Ten years ago, digital accounted for less than 40% of music sales in Australia.
Director General of ARIA, Annabelle’s herd, said: “It is fantastic to see the continued growth of the Australian recording industry, which remains one of the world’s top 10 markets. This speaks to the growing value of the sector as a serious economic contributor, but also highlights the fact that music continues to be part of the fabric of Australian life.
“The continued solid growth in digital numbers year on year is exciting, even though Australians have turned to digital music much earlier than many of our global counterparts. I hope this news will give our brilliant local artists a boost as that they’re heading into a more regular year of touring and reconnecting with fans across the country.
Last year the standouts were video streaming, which grew 26.5% to $55 million, ad-supported streaming models (up 31% to $52.6 million) and physical singles (up 241.6% to just under $200,000).
Revenue from subscription streaming services grew 4.1% in 2021 to $377.3 million, or 66.9% of the industry’s total wholesale sales.
Vinyl albums were the largest segment of physical sales, at $29.7 million, compared to $24.9 million for CD albums. In 2020, CD album sales were slightly higher than vinyl album sales.
“The vinyl market is an increasingly important player as our market evolves, offering music fans of all generations the opportunity to add classics to their collection, but also fans of new music to have a greater sense of connection and ownership to the recordings they love. This is an important area for independent artists, DJs and emerging subcultures that deserves serious recognition,” Herd said.
Wholesale music sales in Australia, 2017 to 2021