Australia’s live music industry lost 90% of its revenue in 2020 due to the pandemic, according to a new study by professional services provider PwC.

The 20th edition of PwC’s annual Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook found that live music generated sales of just A$86m across the year.

The report outlined the projected recovery of the sector in the coming years, with revenue expected to increase to A$2.2bn (£46m/€54m/$63m) by 2025.

However, the study added that until “more fluid and conditions regarding 14-day quarantine are modified… we are unlikely to see a return of the biggest world tours to Australia’s arenas, though confidence grows that this may be addressed from mid to late 2022.”

Referencing the planned arrival of international acts such as KISS, Guns N’ Roses and Alanis Morrissette later this year, the report said that the success of such events relies “on the ability for acts to quarantine safely for the prescribed period, and their ability to move between states that may have different lockdown requirements and travel restrictions at any given point in time.”

Justin Papps, PwC Australia Partner and Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook Editor, said that whilst Covid-19 had caused the “sharpest contraction in Australian entertainment and media revenues in the history of the report… a solid rebound this year” is taking place, leading to “a return to 2019 revenue levels within the next few years for most parts of the industry, if not sooner”.

With live music taking a battering last year, digital platforms profited. The country’s digital music market reported an 8.3% rise in consumer spending, although the rate of growth is slowing, with internet advertising rising by 3.3% in 2020.

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