Live music industry to face 90% drop in revenue, report finds
Live music revenue is projected to decline by 90% in 2020, according to a new report by PwC.
The 2020-2024 Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook recorded Australia’s total music market at $1.82 billion last year, and is expected to rise to $2.32 in 2024. However, restrictions on live music due to the coronavirus pandemic remain a hurdle to the sector’s recovery.
“The live entertainment industry was severely impacted by restricted movement and social distancing measures, and ticket sales were stymied by an uncertain touring schedule with border closures and quarantine requirements effectively putting a temporary hold on any touring acts from overseas,” the report found.
“Current forecasts anticipate a revenue fall for the live music industry of ~90 percent in 2020, a number that will only recover once the global borders are opened to touring acts.”
The blow to Australia’s music industry was padded somewhat through the growth in streaming over the course of the year. According to the report, Spotify had 138 million premium subscribers as of June 2020, with a monthly active listenership of 299 million. Revenue sourced from the digital distribution of music is expected to grow from $882 million in 2019 to 1.44 billion by 2024.
“Music-streaming has become the pumping heart of the industry, and as COVID-19 continues to drive an acceleration in digital behaviours, it has become a vital pillar to defend revenues in the sector throughout 2020,” the report reads.
“Partly due to the growth of streaming, Australia’s recorded music market is stable, notwithstanding the dramatic impact on live performance.”
Artists who thought outside the box when it came to remote performances were praised by the report’s authors, who said initiatives like livestreamed concerts continued to “create a connections with audiences” over the internet.
“Bands such as Powderfinger, Hot Dub Time Machine, and smaller artists are using platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitch to broadcast special events live, adapting to the environment and finding new ways to share a live experience for fans,” the report read.
“With a prolonged absence of international acts, the Australian music industry will have the opportunity to showcase more local talent to new audiences who are likely to be looking for a live music experience in person as soon as it is feasible.”
The report also highlighted how business among the major players in the industry has changed. AEG Presents recently bought a 50% stage in Frontier Touring. In a seperate move, Chugg Entertainment formed a joint venture with Frontier. Ticketing company TEG was also purchased by Silverlake Investments for what is believed to be more than $1 billion.