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Global Stock Music Market - Outlook and Forecast 2023-2028
The global stock music market was valued at USD 1.23 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 2.03 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.65%. The growth of the stock music market can be attributed to the increasing user base driven by the expanding media and entertainment industry. Changing browsing behaviors have shown a preference for video content, followed by interactive tools and other forms of content. Popular video genres include informative and humorous entertainment. Marketers are heavily investing in video content as part of their marketing strategies, leading to a shift in content marketing towards video streaming. As a result, sound, which plays an integral role in videos, is experiencing significant growth. The stock music market is witnessing trends such as customization to meet the demands of a more flexible environment. For example, Envato introduced music kits that allow users to manipulate tracks and create new jingles using existing music without requiring custom production.
Previously, stock music created in studios lacked inclusivity, diversity, and authenticity, resulting in generic marketing materials and advertisements that failed to differentiate one brand from another or resonate with the target audience. Over time, consumers became less trusting of advertising, considering it to be background noise. To address this, marketers are now focusing on authenticity as a core element of audio marketing. With the rise of subtle marketing approaches, stock music users seek genuine and authentic content, particularly millennials who value technology and social connections. These factors are expected to drive the growth of the stock music market.
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USD 1.2 billion in 2021
Product, End-User, License, Geography
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The demand for stock music is also driven by content creators who earn income through channels, pages, and profiles as influencers or content creators. Paid stock music is commonly used as background music or for sound effects in their creations. The increasing trend of independent content creation has led to a surge in demand for royalty-free and licensed music. Stock music vendors have responded by designing their products and services to cater to the needs of independent content creators. For example, AudioJungle introduced new licensing terms that allow audio files to be used in various ways.
The popularity of podcasts is growing rapidly, particularly among younger generations, both in the US and countries like China. This has created new business opportunities and increased demand for stock music used in podcasts or for branding and sponsorship purposes in story-driven content. Stock music plays a crucial role in meeting the diverse needs of podcast creators who produce content for various purposes such as storytelling, education, marketing, and training.
Brands with a global presence are exploring strategies to localize their offerings and establish strong connections with discerning customers. They often commission custom music from touring musicians who specialize in specific genres or local musicians who have made a significant impact in their respective regions. Brands like Budweiser and Coca-Cola have rooted their branding strategies in music, making it a passion point for their consumers. In such cases, stock music may not be suitable. Although some stock music composers attempt to create localized tracks, they often lack the timeliness and relevance required, resulting in disinterest. This localization requirement has created a significant gap in the stock music market and has somewhat reduced the demand for stock music.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including product, end-user, license, and geography.
Segmentation by Product
Segmentation by End-User
Individual Content Creators
Segmentation by License
Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland
APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan
Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Argentina
Middle East & Africa – UAE, South Africa, Saudi Arabia
The global stock music market can be segmented into two categories: tracks and sound effects. In 2022, the track segment dominated the market, with a value of USD 958 million. The track segment is experiencing steady growth due to the increasing trend of personal creation. The industry is undergoing a significant shift, as low-quality stock music that used to dominate the market is being replaced by higher-quality compositions. This shift has allowed talented composers to re-enter the field and raise the industry’s standards, driving the demand for stock tracks. The track segment is highly diverse, catering to various demands, from brand-name artists to tracks from relatively unknown musicians for low-budget use.
In 2022, large businesses accounted for 51.37% of the global stock music market. Audio or sonic branding, where brands create musical signatures, is growing in popularity as part of innovative marketing campaigns. With the shift in consumer preferences towards audio-based content, audio branding has become crucial in creating an easily identifiable brand experience. This move from look and feel to listen and feel has transformed audio branding beyond traditional jingles and radio ads, particularly in large businesses.
The license fee-based stock music market contributed to 64.29% of the industry’s revenue in 2022. As content marketing becomes more integral, the focus is shifting from quantity to quality. Marketers now prefer low-volume, high-quality content over low-quality options. This has led to a preference for licensed music, which offers better quality, appeal, and authenticity compared to royalty-free alternatives. The music licensing segment has also seen significant progress and innovation.
North America is the dominant region in the global stock music market, holding a 50.86% market share in 2022. The region experienced significant growth in individual content creators, with a revenue of USD 73.1 million. The U.S., in particular, has a strong and influential music culture, with audio deeply embedded in the country’s identity. It is the leading market for radio and plays a significant role in driving stock music volumes, despite a decline in ad spending on broadcast radio.
The APAC region is one of the most lucrative markets for stock music, expected to reach USD 439.1 million by 2028. This region has a highly active economy and strong advertising spending. Over the past decade, APAC has consistently won numerous international advertising awards and attracted major ad agencies. The rapidly changing media landscape is further fueling the growth of the stock music industry in this region. In Europe, countries such as the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Russia are driving the demand for stock music through innovative market offerings. Latin America is witnessing a surge in demand for stock music due to the growing number of local production and art films gaining international recognition, particularly in small and medium businesses.
The global stock music market exhibits a moderate level of consolidation, with three types of agencies operating within the market: single artists, community-based agencies, and mass players. These agencies offer different types of products based on exclusivity. While certain players like Getty Images and Shutterstock have adopted a consumer-oriented business model, characterized by low prices and high volume, the industry has made significant progress over time. Specialist agencies, which are keeping pace with technological advancements and evolving demands, are driving the industry forward. The stock music market is primarily dominated by five major vendors: Audio Network, Getty Images, Shutterstock, Musicbed, and Pond5.
However, many players in the market do not operate within a specific niche. In the future, growth in the stock music market is expected to come primarily from specialization. By focusing on specific segments of the industry, such as video game sound effects or curating in-store stock music, brands can establish a unique position within the market. Several established stock music sources have gained popularity within specific end-user segments. For example, SoundCloud is widely used as a source for marketing videos. Moreover, both small and large vendors are introducing new approaches and models in the stock music business, including subscription-only services. These all-you-can-eat subscriptions aim to drive volume and revenue growth. While some players offer only royalty-free stock music, others provide a combination of royalty-free music and customized services.
Key companies profiled in this report include Envato, Entertainment One, Getty Images, Musicbed, Shutterstock, Tribe of Noise, Media Music Now, SoundCloud, 123RF, Artlist, Audiosocket, Bensound, Dreamstime, FyrFly, Jamendo, Motion Array, Music Vine, Videvo, Storyblocks, Soundsnap, Earmotion Audio Creation, Epidemic Sound, Pond5, MusicRevolution, Marmoset, Soundstripe, Neosounds, The Music Case.
Key Questions Answered
What is the size of the global stock music market?
The global stock music market was valued at USD 1.23 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 2.03 billion by 2028.
What is the growth rate of the global stock music market?
The global stock music market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.65% from 2022 to 2028.
Which region dominates the market share of the global stock music market?
North America currently holds the largest market share in the global stock music market, accounting for over 50.86% in 2022.
What are the significant trends in the stock music industry?
The significant trends in the stock music industry include the simplification of licensing processes, the enhanced intuitiveness of filters, the growth of platform integrations, the increasing demand for authenticity, and the rising popularity of immersive sound design.
Who are the key players in the global stock music market?
The key players in the global stock music market are Envato, Entertainment One, Getty Images, Musicbed, and Shutterstock.