- 23 Mar 21
The year's top five best-selling artists were K-pop stars BTS, Taylor Swift, Drake, The Weeknd and Billie Eilish.
Industry trade body the IFPI has revealed 2020's best-selling recording artists in its Global Music Report today, focusing on the top singles, albums and artists overall.
The market reported total revenues of $21.6 billion (roughly €18.2bn), marking its sixth consecutive year of growth and the highest figure since 2002.
BTS had the best-selling album, Map Of The Soul: 7; while The Weeknd's retro-pop anthem 'Blinding Lights' was the biggest single, selling an incredible 2.7 billion copies.
BTS were the world's biggest act overall, marking the first time a South Korean band has topped the global chart. The outfit nabbed the crown from Taylor Swift, who came in second place in 2020. Drake came in third place despite not releasing a new LP last year at all. BTS also had two of the year's top 10 singles.
Best-selling singles on the top 10 list included Tones and I's 'Dance Monkey', Dua Lipa's 'Don't Start Now', Roddy Rich's 'The Box', Saint Jhn's 'Roses' remix, 'Bad Guy' by Billie Eilish and Future's 'Life Is Good' featuring Drake. DaBaby and Roddy Rich's 'Rockstar' collaboration was also included, as well as Xioa Zhan's 'Made To Love'.
Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Juice WRLD, Post Malone and Eminem closed out the top 10 list of artists.
Streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music accounted for 62.1% of all revenues, amassing a staggering $13.4 billion (€11.3 billion).
More than 443 million people now pay for a music streaming subscription, according to the IFPI, meaning that 102 million people signed up for a new account last year, compared to 85 million in 2019.
The figures showcased in the IFPI's annual Global Music Report are a reminder of "the enduring power of music to console, heal and lift our spirits," during COVID-19, said chief executive Frances Moore.
"Some things are timeless, like the power of a great song or the connection between artists and fans. But some things have changed. With so much of the world in lockdown and live music shut down, in nearly every corner of the globe most fans enjoyed music via streaming."
It's worth noting that the IFPI's figures don't include live music revenue, which is the industry sector most affected by the pandemic. Performance revenues from radio, TV or in concert declined by 10.1% to €1.9 billion.
The IFPI's annual report emphasised how livestreams and virtual concerts aided musicians in reaching their fans over the last 12 months, for example during UK pop artist Dua Lipa's Studio 2054 livestream in November. The show pulled in five million views, including more than 1.9 million unique log-ins from China.
US rapper Travis Scott also performed a show inside the Fortnite game during the first lockdown in April 2020, bringing in 12.3 million fans and boosting his streaming numbers by 136%.
— IFPI (@IFPI_org) March 23, 2021