Canada’s music industry, like the country itself, is a melting pot of diverse influences and traditions. This has led to the development of a diverse range of talent in a wide range of musical genres and created a vibrant and unique musical landscape. Over the years, Canada has produced many internationally acclaimed musical artists and has a thriving music scene.

In this article, we have collated key statistics on the Canadian music industry. Continue reading to find statistics such as the size of the Canadian music market, best-selling albums of 2022, and trends for buying music in Canada and globally. 

Music Industry Statistics for Canadians

  • Music consumption was up by 11.2% in 2022 compared to 2021.
  • Canada’s music market grew almost twice as fast as the United States’ music market in 2022.
  • Canada and the United States represent over 40% of the global music market.
  • Streaming music grew by over 13% in 2022.
  • Digital album downloads fell by 18.5% in 2022.
  • CD sales fell by 15% and vinyl sales by 2.3% in 2022.
  • Over 70% of music consumed in Canada in 2022 was more than two years old.
  • The record sales by independent Canadian record production and distribution companies declined by over $5 million between 2019 and 2021.
  • Approximately 75% of Canada’s audio recording industry is located in Ontario.
  • Before the pandemic, the live music industry in Canada generated over 70,000 jobs.
  • Selling over 60,000 albums in 2022, Taylor Swift’s Midnight was the best-selling album in 2022 in Canada.

Canada’s Music Market

According to the Global Music Report 2023 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Canada has the eighth-largest music market in the world. In 2022, the music market grew by 8.12% and was valued at $834.23 million.

Music consumption was also up with Canadians consuming 11.2% more music in 2022 compared to the previous year. Canadian music fans consumed approximately 93.2 million albums in total in 2022.

Music Industry Grew Faster in Canada Than in the United States in 2022

Canada’s music industry is growing each year and in 2022, in terms of percentage it grew almost double compared to the United States. In 2022, the music market in the United States grew by 4.8% compared to Canada’s 8.12%. However, the music market across the border is still valued considerably higher than in Canada and was $13.71 billion in 2022. The United States is the largest music market in the world.

North America Represents Over 40% of the Global Music Market

The combined data from Canada and the United States shows that the music market in North America increased its revenues by 5% during 2022. This was a return to a more normal growth rate following the 21.8% post-pandemic growth in 2021.

Streaming is Fast Becoming the Primary Source of Music

Streaming music has become increasingly popular in Canada and more people are adopting it as their primary music source. In 2022, streaming music was up 13.4% compared to 2021 and the annual on-demand audio streaming of music hit 100 billion for the first time. However, this was a slower pace of growth than previously as between 2020 and 2021 streaming in Canada grew by 28.6%.

The biggest surge in streaming music at 16.9% came from ad-supported video streaming. It was closely followed by ad-supported audio streaming with a 16.1% increase. Subscription streaming also grew by 8.4% and increased its value to $521.79 million.

Almost 70% of Global Recorded Music Revenue Came From Streaming

Globally, streaming music was up 22.6% with over 3.4 trillion streamed songs. Paid subscription streaming market revenue increased by 9% and was valued at $35.92 billion. The number of paid subscriptions grew from 523 million to 589 million between 2021 and 2022.

In 2022, 67% of recorded music revenues came from streaming. 18.7% came from ad-supported streams and 48.3% from subscription audio streams. 2.4% of the industry’s revenue came from synchronisation, 9.4% from performance rights, 17.5% from physical records (CDs, vinyl, and cassette), and 3.6% from downloads and other digital formats.

Number of Paid Downloads Fell in 2022

The downside to the increase in streamed music is that the number of paid downloads of whole albums fell to just 1.9 million units in 2022. That is an 18.5% decrease compared to 2021. The sales of digital tracks also fell. In 2022, Canadians downloaded 16.7% fewer tracks than in 2021.

People Still Buy Physical Copies of Music Albums But Sales Are Falling

The sales of CDs have been declining since downloading music became the norm. In 2022, the sales continued to fall and only 2.3 million CDs were sold in Canada. This is a 15% drop compared to 2021.

Vinyl album sales also fell in 2022 but only by 2.3% with approximately 1.1 million vinyl albums sold in Canada. However, the vinyl sales were affected by issues with supply chains and back-ups at album pressing plants, which led to higher prices. On average, people who buy vinyl spend around 300% more on music per month than average listeners. Despite the issues, revenue from vinyl sales increased by 19.4%.

While the sales of CDs and vinyl fell in 2022, the sales of cassettes were up by 27%. However, this is unlikely to signal a comeback of cassettes, as only 13,200 cassettes were sold in Canada in 2022.

Record production and distribution in Canada

Operating revenue in the record production and distribution industry grew to $728.1 million in 2021, an increase of 16.7% from 2019. Much of the growth came from the large multinational companies. They saw the total sales of their recording grow from $362.6 million to $460.7 million between 2019 and 2021.

While multinational record companies grew their record sales, Canadian independent record production and distribution companies had a harder time with declining record sales. In 2019, the record sales among Canadian companies were $93.5 million and in 2021, the sales only reached $88.1 million.

Music Publishers in Canada

Music publishers experienced temporarily reduced demand between 2019 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic cancellations of large public events, such as sporting events, and closure of places such as shopping malls.

However, despite the reduced demand in certain venues, the operating revenues among music publishers grew by 16% to $449.3 million between 2019 and 2021. The reduced demand in certain areas was offset by other revenue streams such as the use of licensed music in media including film, radio, TV, and online, and royalties from the reproduction of copyrighted music.

Recording Studios in Canada

The operating revenue earned by Canadian sound recording studios in 2021 was $146.2 million. This represented an increase of 1.4% from 2021. This was weaker growth than in previous years because of the pandemic.

The pandemic forced recording studios to cancel or delay projects, including live sessions with recording artists. Studios that were able to engage in remote work fared better during the pandemic. Studios that provide post-production audio services for the TV and film industries also saw severely reduced demand as the filming of TV shows and movies was postponed.

Much of Canada’s Music Industry Is in Ontario

Ontario is the music capital of Canada with 75% of the country’s audio recording industry based in the province. The music revenue for Ontario, around $429 million per year, represents 82% of the total music revenue in Canada.

The sound recording and music publishing industry of Ontario generated nearly 3,000 jobs in 2020. This represents 46% of the 6,550 jobs within the industry nationally. In 2019, the sound recording and distribution industry of Ontario paid $53.4 million in wages, salaries, and benefits. This figure does not include music publishing or live music.

The Live Music Industry in Canada Generates Over 70,000 Jobs

According to the Canadian Live Music Association, the live music industry in Canada generated approximately 72,000 jobs before the pandemic. The pandemic hit the live music industry hard with venues closing. It is estimated that the average loss of revenue for the live music sector was 92% and that 64% of live music venues were at risk of permanent closure.

Popular Music & Rock Is the Biggest Selling Music Category

According to Statistics Canada, the biggest-selling music category in Canada is the popular music & rock category with $308.9 million in revenue from sales of recordings in 2015. The revenue from classical music record sales was $7.7 million, jazz and blues were $4.5 million, and country and folk music was $14.9 million. Revenues from the sales of all other types of music were $42.4 million.

Celine Dion Is the Richest Musician in Canada

Canada has many multimillionaire musicians and Celine Dion is the wealthiest of them all. Her estimated net worth is $800 million. She has sold over 220 million records and her latest tour was sold out.

The second richest musician is Shania Twain with a net worth of approximately $400 million. Shania Twain has sold over 100 million records. Third on the richest musicians list in Canada is Justin Bieber. He has sold over 150 million records and his net worth is around $300 million.

Taylor Swift Topped the 2022 Physical Album Sales in Canada

The best-selling physical album of 2022 in Canada was Midnights by Taylor Swift according to Statista. Her album sold 64,000 units, 30,000 more than Harry’s House by Harry Styles whose album came in at number two.

Proof by BTS was third, selling 22,000 units. Adele with her album 30 was number four with 19,000 units and Salebarbes number five with Gin A L’Eau Salee with 17,000 albums sold in 2022. Salbarbes and Taylor Swift both had two albums among the top ten albums. Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) shared the number eight spot with Michael Buble’s Higher. Salbarbes album Live Au Pas Perdus squeezed in at number ten with 12,000 sold units.

Harry Styles Topped the Global Singles Chart in 2022

While Taylor Swift dominated the album sales in Canada, Harry Styles took the number one spot on the singles chart with As It Was. The global subscription stream equivalent for his single was 2.28 billion.

At number two was Glass Animals with 1.75 billion stream equivalents. A very close third was The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber’s single Stay with 1.74 billion. Elton John’s collaboration with Dua Lipa took the number four spot with Cold Heart reaching 1.34 billion stream equivalents. The Weeknd with Save Your Tears was number five with 1.32 billion.

Conclusion

Canada has a vibrant music scene and has produced many internationally renowned musicians. The recording industry in Canada is heavily concentrated in Ontario, with almost 50% of the sector’s jobs located in the province.

The trends for accessing music in Canada follow the global trends with streaming on the rise and the number of downloads decreasing. Canada also follows global trends when choosing what to listen to with artists such as Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, and The Weeknd featuring on top ten lists in Canada and globally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canada has a vibrant music scene and features many national and international record companies, live music venues, and music festivals. Canada has produced many internationally acclaimed artists over the years including Celine Dion and Justin Bieber.

Based on record sales and net worth, Celine Dion is the most popular Canadian musician. She has sold over 220 million records and is worth $800 million.

Much of Canada’s music industry, such as record production and distribution, is located in Ontario, making the province an ideal place for anyone wishing to work in the music industry.

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