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The world’s hottest digital markets: a music map

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Record labels’ new-found enthusiasm for ending their iTunes dependence has created an opportunity for new digital music services.

I picture the market like a game of Risk. Every week, the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Deezer are racing in to new countries with a new model — unlimited subscription access to millions of songs.

But, as the services embark on this VC-funded globalisation, which are the world’s most competitive, most lucrative and most digital music markets? Our clickable map has the details…



  • In China, digital music sales are a high proportion of the total (73 percent) because CD piracy is rife, unmonetised, in Asia.
  • The UK is the world’s most competitive market, with 73 licensed digital services operating.
  • Some Latin American countries have few music services, making iTunes Store, which recently rolled out there, influential.
  • CDs still sell well in Germany and France, thanks partly to high sales of classical music.
  • In the U.S. now, a majority of trade revenue from recorded music comes from digital – a globe-topping $2.2 billion.

Data sources: IFPI Digital Music Report 2011, Pro Music (Mar 2012), and services.

7 Responses to “The world’s hottest digital markets: a music map”

  1. Bud Powell

    I am currently using IndigoBoom to help distribute my songs globally. They are distributing my songs to many of the entities you mentioned in your article and on the interactive map. One example is my song “You Left Me Anyway which is on 7digital in the Nederlands, Canada, Deutchland, Espana, Finland, France, Ireland, Italia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Osterreich, Portugal, Schweitz, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.

    This is global exposure that I could never get selling CDs or playing gigs.

    While my songs are also on eMusic and songs like “Don’t Like You” are somehow miss filed under my name plus “guitar & vocals” and are only downloading for .49 versus 7digital’s .99, This maybe due to the difficulty for users to find the songs or the strange artist label. I like their ratings, and reviews as they are much more visible to the user.

    Then I have songs like If I Painted a Picture on iTunes and the songs are downloading for $1.29
    Based on my analytics this song is the most popular, though I am not sure why. I wrote it for my daughter and I like it because if that but I think I have written better songs.

    I almost forgot, that though iTunes is selling some of my songs at much higher prices, they have yet to fix the meta-data error that keeps sending listeners to the pages for the diseased jazz musician. While I appreciate all that he has contributed to music, people become confused and frustrated trying to sift through his music and find my country music. 7digital has managed to keep the Bud Powells very cleanly separated. While I have been swapping emails with the CEO of IndigoBoom about this issue, the problem still exists…hopefully the techies can sort this out as it is over my head.

    Oh well, that is what is so interesting about this type of music marketing. People buy what they like, not what is played on the radio the most. This shift in music marketing is quite an amazing experience and I am glad I’m along for the ride…can’t wait to see what comes next.

    Remember I come from the days of Lps and reel to reel recordings.

    I’d love your feedback on my music/comments!
    Bud Powell

  2. Royal

    Wait up folks. My biggest checks come from itunes, spotify and deezer are just out right stealing. If all we can sell is a single downlaod, then why would we not want to sell an itune download for .99 over spotify and deezer for .01 to maybe .27? Not buying it.

    • Randy Oh

      South Korea’s No.1 music service, MelOn, is alleged to be one of top 3 global digital music services in terms of number of paid users.