Music instruments
Media and Entertainment: Music Sector

Media & Entertainment Music Sector



The International Trade Administration’s Global Media & Entertainment (M&E) Team: Music Sector, Supports the U.S. copyright and music sectors with licensing, export and expansion plans to international markets via our Trade Specialists at 100 U.S. Export Assistance Centers and over 80 U.S. Consulates and Embassies world wide.

Industry Overview 

  • The global music industry contracted 23% in 2020 due to the pandemic to $80.2B, while the U.S. music industry contracted 20.8% to $35.5B. Top 5 markets ($) = USA, Germany, Japan, UK and China.
  • While streaming and subscription services continued to grow exponentially, following a 15 year lull due to digital disruption; growth stagnated for live performance, touring and the overall gig economy world wide, shuttering events & stages in 2020 and forcing many musicians and companies to pivot to virtual or new services.
  • 180 million Americans subscribe to music streaming services. 
  • Global growth is largely driven by streaming services in 2020 and major music markets include: USA, Germany, Japan, UK, France, South Korea, China, Canada, Australia, and Brazil—with many smaller, key markets and an abundance of genres across the world.
  • Social media and digital tech firms are driving additional growth for music publishing and synch licensing for film, MVOD and advertising is a major driver.
  • Podcast listeners are increasing steadily worldwide to reach $842M in 2020 (data measured in select global markets).

What the Global Media & Entertainment Team offers to the Music Sector

Trade counseling: 
Our Specialists will work with you to determine markets, music trends, market entry challenges and copyrights in foreign countries, conduct background checks on potential partners, and more. 

Business matchmaking: 
We’ll identify and introduce you to potential international business partners including:

  • Agents, Distributors, Licensors
  • Record Labels, Publishers, Publicists & A/R
  • Streaming and Mobile Services 
  • Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) 
  • Synch Licensing partners for Film, TV & Advertising
  • Touring, Venue and Merchandising Firms
  • Government & Trade organizations 

Team activities: 

  • Engage with domestic and international Trade Associations, Music Offices, Congressional bodies such as the Creative Rights or Internet Caucus, International Ministries of Trade, or Culture or their industry Export Bureaus to facilitate trade.
  • Implement trade missions, attend trade shows and other trade events to promote international business. 
  • Organize webinars that highlight music policy, copyrights and IP or regulatory issues, and identify best prospect markets. 

Current Projects

  • In 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration granted the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) an award to participate in the 3-year Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP). This award will help the U.S. independent music industry enhance its global competitiveness by addressing trade barriers, identifying international investment and expansion opportunities, protecting U.S. creative and digital economy investments and intellectual property rights, as well as creating jobs and increasing revenues via enhanced exports and licensing of U.S. music. 


Carmela Mammas  

Director, CS New York, NY