Music industry in Europe - statistics & facts

The music industry in Europe is constantly evolving. First there was vinyl, which was replaced by cassette tapes, which in turn were swapped for CDs. But sales of physical music have been in decline for the last 20 years, as media has turned digital. Music downloads made CDs almost redundant, and now streaming threatens to do the same to downloads. Streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon, and Deezer have made constant access to an almost unlimited supply of music a possibility for music lovers all over Europe. Digital music revenues in the United Kingdom are estimated at over 1.7 billion euros, 1.4 billion euros in Germany, and over half a billion euros in France.

Where is money made in music?

While the move to digital music has made significant progress over the last years, there is still a disparity between countries. While in Western Europe, Germany and the United Kingdom are generating an admittingly high revenue from digital music, other markets are less dominant. However, this also means that there is still a lot of potential for digital music as well as for music as an entire industry to grow, especially considering developing markets in regions such as Africa or Asia. The growth rate of the music industry revenue in 2020 has already indicated this trend, with Latin America showing a music industry revenue growth of nearly 16 percent followed by Asia as well as Africa and the Middle East. The global music revenue generated is mostly accumulated through live music as well as digital recorded music, while physical recorded music as well as performance rights or synchronization only play a marginal role. This, however, also highlights the importance of live music not only for the stakeholders such as artists or venues but for the industry as a whole.

COVID-19: Disconcerting live music in Europe

Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the live music industry had been booming. With national and regional lockdowns still in place or slowly being lifted all throughout Europe in order to limit the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and social distancing rules in place for the foreseeable future, it is a very worrying time for live music. Venues have closed or are only slowly opening up, tours have been cancelled. Musicians have done what they can to stay productive; many performing online concerts and some recording music at home. Around 60 percent of European festival-goers watched a live music stream in lockdown in 2020. While music lovers across Europe eagerly awaited the return to live music venues, festivals have slowly been re-introduced in some countries, with 2G or 3G rules in place. Many festivals hope to be back to normal in 2022. In that case, the revenue of live music is estimated to recover in the next years providing that the vaccinations and hygiene rules will be effective.


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