Several highly anticipated reports were released in the last week offering useful insight into the health of the music industry. The first is Spotify's first quarter earnings report, which provides a glimpse into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic during the month of March. The second is the IFPI Global Music Report, which covers the growth of the worldwide recorded music market for the entirety of 2019. Finally, ASCAP reported over $1B in payouts to songwriters for performance royalty income.
Overall, monthly active users, a key metric, rose 31% in the quarter, in line with Spotify's forecast.
“[When] we saw consumption starting to decline we would have assumed that MAUs and Paid Subscribers would be negatively impacted, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, both new and reactivated MAUs grew substantially even during lockdown periods in major markets.”
Spotify believes there is more growth to capture in mature and developing markets. The numbers show a healthy subscriber acquisition pace: 6 million subscribers in Q1 2020 compared to 11 million in Q4 2019. Falling within 2020 full-year guidance for subscribers translates to an additional 19 million to 29 million.
Total revenues climbed to $20.2 billion, a rise of 8.2% on the previous year. Driving the growth was a 23% jump in streaming revenues, which totaled $11.4 billion, accounting for 56% of all sales and offsetting a 5% fall in physical sales.
ASCAP collected $1.274 billion in revenue, a 3.83% increase from the $1.1227 billion reported in the prior year; while distributions to songwriters and publishers increased 6.76% to $1.184 billion from $1.109 billion in the prior year.