Global study shows live music revenue will surpass pre-Covid levels this year

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Global live music revenue is set to surpass pre-Covid levels this year according to a major new study from PwC.

The Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2023–2027 forecasts that live music ticket sales will hit $23.0bn in 2023, which is more than the $21.5bn generated in 2019 – the last year before the global pandemic. Sales shrunk to $5.4bn in 2020, then $10.2bn in 2021 and $20.3bn in 2022.

Live music will also grow in every year of the forecast period, with $25.6bn estimated for 2027. Live music sponsorship will reach the 2019 figure of $5.7bn by 2024, reaching $6.1bn in 2027.

Combined live music and cultural events are poised to surpass 2019’s $66.6bn mark in 2024.

PwC said: “After a prolonged period of dormancy during the COVID-19 pandemic, live sectors have returned to growth and are poised to outperform the E&M industry at-large.

“Through 2027, live experience revenues are expected to grow at 9.6% CAGR, four times the 2.4% CAGR predicted for overall consumer revenue, highlighting the enduring appeal of live experiences.”

Cinema box office revenue will reach pre-pandemic levels by 2025, hitting $43bn (up from $39.4bn in 2019). China will again become the largest global box office market by 2024, after overtaking the US in 2020 and 2021.

Global e-sports ticket sales revenue returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 after doubling in 2021 and growing by 147.8% in 2022.

PwC found that physical recorded music is in decline, and revenue will continue on a downwards trend, from $6.1bn in 2022 to $4.5bn at the end of the forecast period. Digital recorded music will increase its share of recorded music revenue, rising from 74.3% in 2022 to 80.7% in 2027.

Werner Ballhaus, global entertainment and media industry leader at PwC Germany, said: “Increased reliance on mobile and digital technologies, heightened industry competition, an evolving regulatory environment, and disruptions posed by new and emerging technologies will create new tensions and possibilities in the years ahead for the sector.

“If companies are to retain market share and drive growth, industry leaders will have to be more creative about how they create, distribute and monetise products and services, while remaining cognisant of an evolving global regulatory and geopolitical environment increasingly conscious of data privacy.”

The Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2023–2027 offers projections of consumer and advertiser spending data across 13 segments and 53 countries and territories.

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