Disclaimer: These statistics are not one hundred percent accurate. I have had to research what each country’s industry is worth and translate their currency to pounds, and even then some of these statistics date back to 2019.
There is an obvious answer as to why China is high up on this list with £770 million sales, and that is it’s population. China do not need to have their own pop world and influence/become influenced by other artists because with over a billion people in their country, there is going to an enormous number of sales in vinyl, CDs, live shows and digital downloading. In other words, absolutely everything is going to have at least twice as many sales.
You may not have heard of many groundbreaking artists in Germany, however it has been an import market for a long time now, meaning that they have massive sales in music of other countries like the UK and US. Even looking at the charts right now, we can see artists like Glass Animal, Dua Lipa and Elton John, Ed Sheeran and the Imagine Dragons dominating the top ten right now. Most charts in other European countries are very similar, but Germany is such a populated country that sales are clearly going to be higher (last year amounting to £804 million).
There is a constant online battle between K-Pop and J-Pop, and while K-Pop may seem to have more international success, J-Pop has sold enough in it’s own country that Japan has made it to the top three of this list. After doing some reason on Quora, it turns out that Japan is a much more traditional country when it comes to music, as they have an extensive amount of CD sales each year, and would choose it any day over downloading music on a phone. The prices of CDs and vinyl are also twice the price of CDs and Vinyl in western countries, which is going to massively contribute to their music net-worth of £1.73 billion in 2020.
2. United Kingdom
Despite the stupendous influence many musicians like The Beatles, Elton John and David Bowie have had on the music industry, the UK is not the biggest market in the world right now with £3.1 billion sales in 2020, and has remained in second place for a long time now. I’m guessing this is because we have a small group of key artists each decade who everyone knows about and takes inspiration from, but when it comes to artists who aren’t within the top 3 of their genre, they are often forgotten about outside of Europe no matter how big they are in the Uk. Ask a British person to name a few female artists from the US for example, and they’ll say Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish etc. Then you ask an American to name a few female artists from the UK and they’ll hesitate after Adele.
The USA is the home to a phenomenal amount of pop icons who have shaped music throughout the decades. There are many factors that contribute to the US music industry generating £11.37 billion in 2021, the main one being it’s variety in genres. In saying that I am not suggesting that these genres originated in the US, because they didn’t. America is known for taking inspiration from other cultures, such as Hip Hop which stems from Caribbean, African and Latinx culture.