UK music industry on course to top £3bn, as digital streaming drives growth

Sep 14, 2017

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New analysis by PwC forecasts the UK’s music industry will generate £2.9bn this year, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3% over the next four years to be worth £3.2bn by the year 2021.

PwC’s Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021 highlights the principal driver of revenue growth in the industry will be digital music streaming which, by the end of this year, is forecast to generate £520m. By 2021, streaming revenue will grow at a CAGR of approximately 21.6% to over £1bn, accounting for just under a third of all overall music revenue.

Music sales continue to decline, both digital and physical. Revenues from digital downloads are forecast to fall at a rate of 22% year on year - by 2021, this will see revenue reduce to £66m, from £185m this year. Physical recorded music is forecast to decline at nearly 8% year-on-year to £310m by 2021, from £440m this year.


Jonathan Ford, director in PwC’s entertainment and media business, said:

“The UK is the fourth largest global market for music after the US, Japan and Germany and will maintain its position over the next four years. Streaming has been a game-changer for the industry and last year streaming revenues overtook downloads for the first time. By 2021, we forecast that streaming services will account for 93% of all digital recorded music revenue and over 60% of total recorded music revenue.

Live music revenue will remain broadly consistent over the next four years, representing just under half of UK music revenue in 2021. Ticket sales are forecast to remain at the same level over the next four years with income from sponsorship forecast for 0.5% CAGR.

Jonathan Ford, added:

“Live music accounts for about 50% of the UK music industry, however, revenues will largely remain flat over the next five years. Artists are now more reliant on earnings from concerts, which has changed the economics of the industry as record companies look to get a share of this market. With new technologies such as virtual reality largely untapped in this area I think we will see a great deal of innovation over the next few years.”


Notes for editor

About the Global entertainment and media outlook
PwC’s 18th annual edition of the Global entertainment and media outlook 2017-2021, is a comprehensive online source of global analysis for consumer and advertising spend. With like-for-like, five-year historical and five-year forecast data and commentary across 17 industry segments in 54 countries, the Outlook makes it easy to compare and contrast consumer and advertising spend across segments and countries. Find out more at


Segments covered by the Global entertainment and media outlook

Books, Business-to-business, Cinema, Data consumption, E-sports, Internet access, Internet advertising, Internet video, Magazines, Music, Newspaper, Out-of-home advertising, Radio,

Traditional TV and home video, TV advertising, Video game, Virtual reality.


About Global entertainment and media outlook data

Much of the content in this press release is taken from data in the Global entertainment and media outlook 2017-2021. PwC continually seeks to update the online Global entertainment and media outlook data. Therefore, please note that the data in this press release may not be aligned with the data found online. The online Global entertainment and media outlook 2017-2021 is the most up-to-date source of consumer and advertising spend data.


- Digital recorded music is defined as revenue from streaming services and digital downloads

- Physical recorded music is defined as revenue from CDs and vinyls

- Total recorded music is digital and physical music revenue combined



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Felix Ampofo
Executive, media relations, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44(0)7841 468 245

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