According to a report from London-based accounting powerhouse PwC, live music and streaming services combine to account for 73% of the US music industry’s annual revenue. The report detailed an “insatiable appetite” amongst the public for music events, while highlighting that live event streaming is starting to show signs of being able to fill the vast gap left by physical music sales some decade-and-a-half ago, predicting it will contribute $7.4B by 2021.
“The market is being defined and propelled by consumers’ increased demand for live, immersive, sharable experiences,” wrote Deborah Bothun, PwC’s global entertainment and media leader. “Consumers want to get closer, more engaged and better connected with the stories they love – both in the physical and digital worlds.”
That trend of growth for the sector was supported by the International Trade Administration. In its Market Reports for Media and Entertainment, they stated that “technology will play a major role in the growth of live music revenues,” citing cashless payments and smart wristbands as being particularly prominent in bolstering revenue in the sector. The study went on to predict that “live music ticket sales revenue will generate US$23.69 billion in 2019, compared with US$20.51 billion in 2014.”
“Live music is rapidly becoming a corporate business, and as the major live players continue to expand their reach through partnerships and company acquisitions, their presence in new markets opens up new opportunities for major artists to perform in more countries,” the report stated.
The increasing impact of streaming was also discussed in PwC’s report. Platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music together command an 18% share of the industry’s output and have seen revenue “up a quite astonishing 99.1% year-on-year in 2016 to total $3.0 billion,” with that number forecast to rise to $7.4 billion in 2021. This news will be met with delight amongst the recorded music industry as it could mark the conclusion of a period of great difficulty generating revenue from digital music. “When we look back, 2016 may have been a tipping point for streaming and, most importantly, for paid subscription streaming,” notes Dennis Kooker, Sony Music’s President of Global Digital Business & US Sales, citing the 112 million streaming subscribers worldwide as a sign of success.
For any vinyl lovers out there, it won’t be a surprise to hear that the beloved format has returned to prominence in American living rooms. But the report highlights that problems with manufacturing have lead to the vinyl industry “stunting,” and that until there are more pressing plants in operation, it’ll be very difficult for the cult format to meet the demands of the public and support the renewed interest from major labels.
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