PwC outlook forecasts streaming domination in digital music revenue by 2022

PwC has published its annual report of projections and predictions for the international media industry. The Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2018-2022 valued the music, radio, and podcast sector in the U.S. at $40.7 billion in 2017. The industry is projected to see a 4% compound annual growth rate to reach $49.5 billion in 2022.

Within that sector, total U.S. recorded music revenue in 2017 reached $8.7 billion. The result marked growth of 16.5% from the year prior, and the industry’s expected CAGR through 2022 is 7.8%, which would bring it to revenue of $12.7 billion by that year. Streaming alone accounted for $4.8 billion of the 2017 revenue, rising 58.5% over 2016. PwC projected that this digital format would see a 16.7% CAGR and reach revenue of $10 billion by 2022. According to the report, streaming will be responsible for 97.3% of digital recorded music revenue by 2022.

Radio saw 2017 revenue of $22.1 billion in the U.S., accounting for nearly half of the global total. It is projected to see revenue of $23.8 billion by 2022.

In a related analysis, PwC pointed toward subscription models as delivering a larger share of revenue than advertising for media brands. Both streaming audio and OTT home video platforms are expected to see subscription revenue on a steady increase through 2022.

PwC also pointed to a few trends that it pegged as critical in the latest shifts for the entertainment and media sector. One is the near-total coverage for high-speed mobile Internet. The company expected that total global data consumption through smartphones will surpass fixed-broadband data consumption in 2020.

As a result, mobile devices have been growing as the primary source for accessing media and entertainment on a global scale. PwC expected that global mobile Internet advertising revenue will overtake its wired equivalent this year.

Anna Washenko