Midyear Report Spotlight: Artists & Fans are in their D2C Era

By Jaime Marconette
, Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
July 18, 2023
— 2 min read
By Jaime Marconette
, Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
July 18, 2023
— 2 min read

In Luminate’s newly released 2023 Midyear Music Report we dive into the biggest trends impacting the Global music industry so far this year. While we cover topics as diverse as Super Fans, the consumption of non-English music, and content proliferation through the course of the report, let’s jump into the world of Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) sales today to look at the wide sweeping trends. (For those readers who may be unfamiliar with the term “D2C,” this is essentially product and apparel sold directly to consumers via official online artist and label stores.)

Overall in 2023, D2C physical product sales in the US are up 20% over the same period last year, which is higher than the overall US physical marketplace that is up 13.3%. Notably, cassette sales are almost 15% lower via D2C stores through the first half as the category growth starts to slow.

Total Sales were 4.4 million with a positive 20 percent year over year percentage change. Vinyl Sales were 2.6 million with a positive 26 percent year over year percentage change. CD Sales were 1.7 million with a positive 15 percent year over year percentage change. Cassette Sales were 62 thousand with a negative 14.6 percent year over year percentage change.

Looking at Current vs Catalog sales also reveals interesting trends in D2C. Whereas Catalog* consumption has been growing in for several years (Catalog share of Total Album Consumption** jumped from 72.4% to 72.8% this year), over 60% of D2C sales are Current. Strong Current sales intuitively makes perfect sense if you’ve ever rushed to your favorite artist’s official online store to pre-order a physical copy of an upcoming album.

A pie chart is shown with the title 'Total U.S. D2C Sales'. The data represented is as follows: Catalog - 37.5%. Current - 62.5%.

D2C stores provide artists the opportunity to sell merch right next to their music products, and Gen Z is particularly excited about these offerings. Our Luminate Insights Consumer Research data shows that

Gen Z are 33% more likely to plan on buying artist apparel in the next six months, and 32% more likely to plan on purchasing accessories compared to the U.S. General Population. U.S. Gen Z agree that they 'wish artists provided more merchandise options so that I can show my support for them and their work'.

Learn more about D2C, Super Fans and other highly impactful trends in today’s music industry. Click here to view the 2023 Midyear Music Report.

* Catalog is defined by a music release that is older than 18 months
**Total Album Consumption (Album + TEA + SEA On-Demand)

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