Live Music - Statistics & Facts

Over time, the music industry has undergone various transitions and technological evolutions. Since the introduction of MP3s in the late 1990s, downloads have overtaken the purchase of physical music as customers have moved from paid content to subscription music services. Despite the industry-wide shift in consumer spending, the growth of live music looks to continue unimpeded for years to come, as real-life experiences encounter a surge in popularity.


Since 2002, the global revenue of the music industry has declined, but has remained at 15 billion U.S. dollars for the past three years, before rising again to 16.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Due to the projected contraction in revenue of physical recorded music, digital music downloading and mobile music, the outlook of the industry looks pessimistic. Given the decline across the main sectors of income, artists have been more dependent on earnings generated from live music performances. Live performances are therefore expected to offset part of the negative impact with a comparatively higher growth rate in ticket sales and sponsorship. In 2016, over 60 million music tour tickets were sold worldwide and the global revenue from live music tours amounted to almost 4.9 billion U.S. dollars. Bruce Springsteen’s world tour with The E Street Band was the highest grossing concert tour worldwide that year.

In the United States, revenue of the live music industry is forecast to gradually rise from around nine billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to almost 12 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. Americans spent an average of 22.51 U.S. dollars spent on music per consumer per annum, not including live music. Within the live music sector, live concerts with a prominent headliner proved to be the most popular.

In 2016, Canada’s total music market revenue stood at almost 490 million Canadian dollars, the highest figure to-date. Similarly, live music revenue reached a new high of 988 million Canadian dollars in 2015, up from 798 million Canadian dollars in 2010. Similar to the United States, admission to live music concerts was reported to account for the largest portion of expenditures on music related activities among Canadian consumers.

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