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Google Announces Music Business Partnership With iLike And Lala (Photo : Getty Images/David McNew)

While revenue from recorded music increased 5.9 percent globally, the growth rate in China was more than three times bigger at 20 percent. Total music sales globally reached $15.7 billion, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

Spotify Rules

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In 2015, the global growth was at 3.2 percent. The larger growth was felt in the streaming industry which expanded by 60 percent in 2016. Although Spotify ruled, other on-demand platforms such as Tidal, Apple Music and Deezer helped buoy up the new way of acquiring music at the cost to the CD sales and downloads, GeoTV reported.

But the impressive numbers on streaming may be because it is still in its infancy stage. The music industry is only in its second year of recovery after 15 years of decline, Stu Bergen, CEO for international and global commercial services at Warner Music Group, said.

Emerging Markets

Besides China, other emerging economies where music sales were strong include Mexico which logged a 24 percent growth and India 26 percent expansion. By region, the biggest growth was logged by Latin America at 12 percent.

Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, said the growth of the industry did not happen by chance. It is the result of years of investment ad innovation, and the shift is becoming more evident. The industry first adapted to the digital age and is now driving the digital age. She added the change was from physical to digital, from downloads to streaming, from ownership to access.

The next transformation that industry executives want to see is from decline to growth. Burgen added that the industry still has a long way to go before it establishes a truly robust and healthy environment for artists. “Whatever growth we see in the future, we will always need to stay vigilant about every new opportunity. We’re not sitting back and waiting for streaming to do the heavy lifting,” Billboard quoted Burgen.