Major Labels Are Generating $1M Per Hour From Streaming

According to a new report by Music Business Worldwide, major labels are generating over $1 million every hour from streaming platforms. This news comes while artists are complaining more than ever about the mediocre returns made from the same sources.

The Numbers

The report is based on an analysis of official fiscal data. It shows that the recorded music divisions of Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, and Warner Music Group generated a total of $22.9M per day, on average, in 2019. If we focus on the last quarter of 2019, the numbers are even bigger. According to MBW, the numbers reported show that Universal’s artists and labels generated $1.02bn from streaming in calendar Q4 2019, Sony’s generated $669m, and Warner’s generated $589m.

This means that in total, these major labels earned over $2.26BN from streaming in the fourth quarter of 2019. That comes out to an average of $24.8M per day, or $1.03M per hour.

The Streaming Market

Just recently, the Chairman and CEO of RIAA – the Recording Industry Association of America – Mitch Glazier wrote a blog post discussing music’s sustainable success. In his piece, he confirmed that “Paid subscription streaming is driving the return to growth“.

“Today’s report reflects the prospect of a future in which creators have a path forward”

Mitch Glazier – Chairman and CEO of RIAA

Seeing the musical market flourish is definitely good news for all contributors. However, the main contributors – the artists – should be having their fair share of this growth. Today, this is probably not the case as we see artists criticize streaming platforms and the low revenue they generate from them.

“But it also reveals how much farther we must go to assure a healthy music community in which all music is valued and creators are fairly compensated. We still have not realized the full value of music on all digital services.”

Mitch Glazier – Chairman and CEO of RIAA


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