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Last Thursday (January 6), MBW published a jaw-dropping statistic about the US music market in 2021: 82.1% of music consumption in the second half of the 12 months, we calculated, was of ‘catalog’ music, versus ‘current’ music.

This calculation was stable. We based mostly it on numbers published inside US market monitor MRC Data‘s full year 2021 report – which arrived last week – in addition to numbers published in MRC Data’s midyear 2021 report, which was published final summer time.

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MBW’s math in our evaluation was detailed, however the fundamentals are hardly rocket science:

  • MRC Data’s H1 2021 report, published final 12 months, confirmed that catalog claimed 66.4% of US music consumption in the first six months of 2021;
  • MRC’s newest report, for the full 12 months of 2021, confirmed catalog claimed a 74.5% share throughout the 12 months of 2021;
  • Therefore, catalog naturally will need to have claimed a considerably larger proportion than 74.5% inside the final six months of final 12 months (H2 2021).

We crunched the numbers in query for H2 2021 and, lo, 82.1% popped out the other finish.

Now, although, we have an issue: Today (January 11) MRC Data has issued a correction to its annual 2021 report, considerably altering its numbers in relation to each ‘catalog’ and ‘current’ music consumption in 2021.

The headline: Instead of ‘catalog’ music claiming a 74.5% yearly share of US consumption (as initially said), MRC Data’s newly-corrected report exhibits that ‘catalog’ truly claimed a 69.8% share of the US music market in 2021.

Stating the apparent, this alteration is materials.

As a outcome, MBW has re-calculated our personal evaluation of the US market in 2021 utilizing MRC Data’s revised/corrected numbers.

[You can download the full, newly-revised MRC Data FY 2021 report – with its corrected set of catalog vs. current numbers – through here.]



MRC’s authentic 2021 FY report numbers for the US market (left), and newly corrected model (proper). MBW has circled the key ‘catalog’ proportion stat.

At the finish of this text, you possibly can see MBW’s new charts and calculations based mostly on MRC Data’s corrected 2021 report. Before then, right here’s the upshot:

  • MBW now calculates that ‘catalog’ music truly claimed a 73.1% share (vs. ‘current’ music) of US consumption in the second half of 2021, versus our earlier calculation of 82.1%;
  • That 73.1% share, clearly, noticed ‘catalog’ music declare almost three-quarters of the market; ‘current’ music claimed simply over 1 / 4. Statistically, this can be a vital acceleration of the share of the market that ‘catalog’ music claimed each in H1 2021 (66.4%), and in the complete of 2020 (65.1%);
  • ‘Current’ music is getting much less standard in actual phrases: Across the 12 months of 2021, in accordance with MRC’s new numbers, some 269.5 million ‘Total Album Consumption’ (TAC) items of present music have been registered in the US. This was down 3.7% on the 279.9 million determine MRC Data recorded in FY 2020;
  • MBW’s calculations counsel that the second half of 2021, ‘current’ music was consumed much less by way of TAC (123.4 million) than it was in the first half of the 12 months (146.1 million).

The up to date numbers MBW has used for our new H2 2021 calculations

And now, earlier than MBW’s promised colourful charts, our commonplace explainer about MRC Data’s ‘Total Album Consumption’ (TAC) unit of measurement, and the way it displays each bodily and digital report gross sales, plus streaming consumption, in the United States:

  • MRC’s ‘total album consumption’  (TAC) metric bundles collectively bodily and digital album gross sales with single-track downloads and (on-demand) streams, with these single-track downloads and streams transformed into ‘album equivalent’ items. To obtain this, MRC converts each 1,250 premium streams or 3,750 ad-supported streams of tracks on an album right into a single ‘sale’ for that LP. It does the similar for each 10 downloads of tracks from a single album. This method is designed to be ‘revenue reflective’ – for instance, with 1,250 premium streams roughly producing the similar sum of money as a single album.

And right here’s our extra explainer on MRC’s definition of ‘catalog’ versus ‘current’ music:

  • ‘Catalog’ music in MRC’s eyes counts as something launched over 18 months earlier than a shopper made a purchase order and/or pressed play. ‘Current’ music is in the inverse: any music launched inside the prior 18 months of the second a shopper made a purchase order and/or pressed play.

Thank you in your persistence. On with the charts!





Please notice: MBW’s calculations, the place credited, are simply that – our personal conclusions based mostly on MRC Data’s publicly published statistics. We make no declare that MRC Data has endorsed our calculations.Music Business Worldwide



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