Stock Music Trends

Stock music is experiencing a time of global growth. Increase in the demand for the subscription model, online radio, better platform integration, Influencers, simper licensing, cheaper pricing, and higher quality music have all been identified as trends driving this growth.


  • As mentioned in previous research, the market is predicted to grow steadily with a CAGR of 7.412% until 2023-2024. There are several trends that are fueling this growth which are shared in the below findings.


  • Podcasts, background music, social media, advertising, websites, video making, TV-style programming, and YouTube have created a surge in the subscription model. The user is able to integrate searches of music libraries across multiple platforms. Many companies now offer subscription based stock music plans to meet this need.


  • The shift to online radio has created a larger market for stock music, in regard to advertising and podcasts.


  • Platform integration provides a better, intuitive search. This enables easier access of the stock music available.


  • The demand for royalty free and license music has increased due to the increase in popularity of influencers (independent content creators). Communities have emerged, such as the platform Tongal, where influencers can collaborate to develop video content. These communities are more likely to use stock music. This trend has also spurred an increase of sound libraries. The rise in use of stock music by influencers is also triggering the development of new and unique music, which again, is a benefit for the market.


  • Stock music is simpler to obtain a license and has a better price point than when one uses branded music. Vendors are starting to offer purchase plans based on how the music will be used, which is very attractive to the personal user. This has been identified as a key driver of the positive market share.


  • The market is seeing an increase in the quality of stock music due to shifts to licensed music and sound libraries. The market used to be dominated by low-quality music, but new business models have been able to attract real composers to re-enter the game. This is a great benefit, as it will diversify the variety of stock music available. It has also been identified as a chief trend that will drive the market positively.


  • The average return per stock music track has been declining over the last few years.
  • The lack of ownership of “streamed music, intense competition and inconsistent user preferences, and illegal downloading of music tracks may hamper the growth of the stock music industry over the forecast period.”

Research Strategy

To be included as a trend, a topic must have been mentioned multiple times in our research. We only chose trends that were backed with facts to indicated they will be around during the growth period discussed in the CAGR predictions.

Stock Music Market Size

The global market size for stock music in 2019 is $1.153 billion. The CAGR will be 7.412% until 2023-2024.


  • The global CAGR for stock music ranges from 6% to 18% for the years 2017-2024.
  • To further analyze the CAGRs provided to us we looked at the information individually provided by the obtained market research: 6%, 7%, 7.3%, 7.46%, 9%, and 18%. To obtain the most accurate CAGR possible we took the average of these numbers, but disregarded the 18%, as it was wildly out of range.
  • For this research we used a CAGR of 7.412% (the obtained average).
  • The global market will reach $1.5 billion by 2024.
  • The global market will grow by $346.38 million from 2019-2023.
  • By triangulation, the global market in 2019 is $1.153 billion, with an average CAGR of 7.412% until 2023-2024.


  • North America has the largest share of the global market (55%), followed by Europe, APAC, South America, and MEA. Part of the reason North America has such a large share is due to the stringent copyright laws.
  • North American will command 43% of the future growth of the global market.
  • The market is currently fragmented due to the amount of competition.
  • The royalty free segment will make up the highest part of the stock music market share.
  • Demand for this type of music is increasing. The subscription model is helping to increase the demand.

Research Strategy

To arrive at the global market size for stock music we obtained six different market reports, all with different projections and numbers. The outright market share for 2019 was not shared publicly, but the market share for 2024 was given along with the growth of $343.38 million from 2019-2023. By subtracting $343.38 from the 2024 market share of $1.5 billion, we were able to triangulate the global market for stock music.
To obtain the most accurate CAGR from the research, we used an average, since we obtained six different CAGR numbers. We disregarded 18%, as it was wildly out of range, and the market research company, QY Reports, was based in India, and not one that we regularly see in our research.

Stock Music Key Players

Audio Network, Getty Images, Musicbed, POND5, and Shutterstock are all major players in the stock music industry. We have provided revenues and a brief overview of each company.


  • Audio Network had an estimated annual revenue of $23.85 million in 2018.
  • Audio Network started out in 2001, and has grown their catalog to cover “every conceivable style, mood and instrumentation”. Their three core values are record only the best, simple pricing and licensing, and to liberate creative music for content creators. These tracks can be instantly accessed, paid for on an as needed basis, and is pre-cleared for use anywhere in the world forever.
  • There are 1,000 tracks added each month, with a total of over 150,000 tracks, featuring over 800 film and televisions composers.
  • They have 2,018 employees.
  • Audio Network was acquired by Entertainment One and is a privately owned company.


  • Getty Images had an estimated total annual revenue of $278.58 million in 2018.
  • Getty Images is a creator and distributor of images, video, music and multi-media. They have the Getty, iStock, and Thinkstock brands.
  • They were founded in 1995, and are a privately owned company. They were the first company to license imagery on the web.
  • Getty employs 350 people, and is privately owned.
  • They boast an advanced search, and service in 100 countries. They are heavily focused on stock photos.
  • Their music division has an advanced search feature that you can select music by type, genre, mood, or speed, and takes very little time. Once a track is selected, it can be licensed for a variety of uses, and shared easily with team members. They state their collections allow them to offer one of the “largest and most successful licensing catalogs in the world.”


  • Musicbed has an estimated annual revenue somewhere between $1.4 and $29.6 million yearly. Reports varied widely on revenue for this company, although it most likely leans towards the higher number.
  • Musicbed offers music subscriptions, custom music, and footage. They specialize in country, folk, hip-hop, indie and pop music.
  • They say their A&R team “handpicks every song from our roster of indie musicians, bands, and composers, so you can spend less time digging and more time creating”.
  • Musicbed employs less than 50 people in south Texas, and are a private company.

4. POND5

  • Pond5 has an estimated revenue somewhere between $2.26 million and $40 million. Reports varied widely on revenue for this company.
  • Pond5 offers video, music, sound effects, templates, and images.
  • Pond5 claims to have the largest royalty-free stock footage video collection in the world. They have over 900,000 tracks of music, 1.2 million sound effects, and 26 million royalty free images.
  • They are a privately owned company.


  • Shutterstock had an annual revenue of $633.6 million last year.
  • Shutterstock is an online platform that offers images, videos and music. They have a community of over 60,000 contributors and 250 million images along with 2 million videos.
  • Along with media, they own a media agency, a high-end image collection serivice, a learning marketplace and a digital asset management service off businesses.
  • It is of note, in all the company descriptions, music is not mentioned as a main feature.

Research Strategy

Most revenue was located on outside sources. To obtain the revenue for these businesses, we started with trusted sites such as Hoovers and Crunchbase. If no information was available on the company we then attempted to locate it on Owler on Mantra. When sites gave conflicting information, we noted that in our findings.
We attempted to locate the part of the revenue for each company that came from the sale of stock music, as it would be the most relevant. This was impossible with Audio Network, Getty Images, Musicbed, and POND5 as they are privately owned companies. Shutterstock made their annual report available, but did not separate their download revenue by the type of download it was. To try to find a data point to triangulate the information, we looked through press releases hoping there would be mention of revenue and were not able to locate any relevant information.



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