Music industry in the United Kingdom - Statistics & Facts

The UK market for recorded music is among the largest music markets worldwide, ranking fourth after the United States, Japan and Germany. In 2015, the music industry generated an income of nearly 690 million British pounds, over half of which came from digitals sales such as music albums and videos sold online, mobile music and income from music streaming services. On the other hand, physical sales of recorded music fell steadily over the past few years with unit sales of physical CDs more than halved between 2009 and 2014. Even though download sales are expected to decline over the next five years, music streaming revenues are forecast to grow over the same period of time and will exceed 710 million U.S. dollars by 2021.

Despite growing revenue figures for digital music formats, music consumers in the United Kingdom still spend the bulk of their music listening time tuning in to the radio or putting their CD collection to good use. In 2015, radio and CD listening accounted for more than half of all time spent consuming music. Among music enthusiasts who already listened to their favorite songs digitally, streaming users outnumbered those who downloaded files or albums individually; a trend that is predicted to grow more pronounced in the foreseeable future.

Whether it was consumed digitally or not, two thirds of UK adults stated to spend up to two hours every day listening to music in 2015. Looking at music album sales that same year, pop music was the most popular genre, followed by rock and dance. In terms of location, consumers preferred the comforts of their own four walls with more than 56 percent of the UK population over the age of 15 reporting to listen to audio content at home.

However, sometimes a record just cannot replace the real deal. Concerts and music festivals in the United Kingdom have been growing in popularity in recent years with close to a third of university students stating that 'going to gigs' is a major hobby. Live music audience numbers reached 27.7 million attendees in 2015, an increase of almost 11 million compared to four years earlier. Out of all concert and festival goers, 38 percent were tourists who visited the UK specifically to attend a music event and contributed to the British economy in the process. In 2015, music tourists spent roughly 3.7 million British pounds in the United Kingdom and sustained nearly 40 thousand full-time jobs.

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