Music Industry

And the biggest album of 2023 was…NOT by Taylor Swift

The IFPI, the organization that represents the interests of record labels worldwide, just released more stats on global music consumption in 2023. The latest data dump reveals the biggest album on Earth last year.

Gotta be something from Taylor Swift, right? Nope.

According the IFPI (which considers streams and sales), the number one album in this corner of the universe last year was FML from a K-pop’s Seventeen. It was followed by Stray Kids’ (another K-pop group) 5-Star. In third spot was One Thing at a Time by Morgan Waller. We don’t see anything from Tay-Tay until the fourth (Midnights) and fifth (1989) positions.

Seventeen and Stray Kids each had another album inside the top ten, meaning that half the biggest records in the world last year were from K-pop artists.

I find this fascinating. How many people know about Seventeen and Stray Kids? How many Morgan Wallen songs can you name? It just reinforces my contention that we live in a music microculture.

In the pre-internet days, there was so much less music to choose from. Instead of skipping songs, they were doled out to us one at a time on the radio and video channels. We were exposed to this music whether we liked it or not. Sometimes–quite often, actually–a song or an artist would grow on us and we’d become fans. This happened a million times over.

Then the internet blew that old paradigm all to pieces. We are now all our own music directors. We don’t wait for our songs to come on. And we don’t wait out a meh song knowing that something else was coming along in three minutes. This is how we all learned about music. We formed a consensus on what was “good.” It was a long, slow process.

Today, if you’re not a fan of an act, you don’t know anything about them, even peripherally. Chances are, you don’t even know they exist.

(Via Music Ally)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38452 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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