Catalog releases account for two-thirds of all US-based music consumption

Catalog releases account for two-thirds of all US-based music consumption

Image credit: MRC Data

Catalog music grows in popularity as it now accounts for two-thirds of all US-based music consumption, according to a new report.

The MRC Data mid-year analysis report (dates between January 1st-July 1st, 2021) has unveiled some interesting stats and figures, most notably the dominance of streaming and surprise bounce back vinyl. 

Catalog releases (music that is over 18 months old) also saw a small percentage increase and accounted for 66.4% of U.S. music consumption during 2021’s opening half, a small increase on 2020s 63.9%. In addition to this catalog total album consumption grew from 244.5 million to 288.6 million on Q1 and Q2 2021, an improvement of 18.04%. 

On the other side of the coin ‘current’ music (music that is less than 18 months old) dropped from a 36.1% share between January and July of 2020 to 33.6% during the same period in 2021. However, the category’s‘ current total album consumption’ increased, albeit by a smaller 5.56%, from 138.4 million to 146.1 million. 

This report helps legitimize the purchases on artists’ back catalogs in the past couple of years. Artists such as Bob Dylan have sold their music publishing rights for large sums of money. Companies such as Hipgnosis have been trawling as many ‘golden era’ artists music with the idea to generate income off them. With the increase of catalog music’s popularity, it seems the payouts they’ve made will pay off. 

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