In the international arena, music revenue grew by 3.2% in 2015 over 2014, i.e. from $14.5 billion to $15 billion. Canada did even better with an 8.3% annual growth. It is only the second time in the new millennium that the growth has been positive, 2011 being the other year. The 8.3% growth means that Canada’s total music revenue was about $408 million for 2015.
Canadian recording artists did very well internationally in 2015. Three of the Top 10 global artists were Canadian: Justin Bieber (4th), Drake (9th), and The Weeknd (10th). Only two of the Top 10 were American artists. The Brits did best with half of the Top 10. Justin Bieber’s Purpose was the 4th best-selling album of the year selling 3.1 million units. Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd was 10th selling 1.5 million copies. No Canadian artist single made the Top 10.
Music Canada attributes some of the factors in the big gains as a “strong release schedule” and “explosive growth in premium subscription services, largely the result of new entrants in the Canadian market”. The trade organization also points out its “immense concern” over the following:
In Canada, as in other countries around the world, a record volume of music is being consumed, yet artists and producers are not enjoying fair compensation, primarily because upload services like YouTube are not paying normal music licensing rates due to the misapplication of a legislative framework called “safe harbours”. This has created what is known as the “value gap”. Furthermore, the “value gap” has resulted in a distorted market, where premium services are forced to compete unfairly with other services that use copyrighted content to build their businesses, but do not pay fair rates.
The IFPI will be releasing more complete data for Canada and all other national markets on Thursday, April 14, 2016.