In Other News: June’21 (2/5) ‘How Big Was Big?’

The Global (Recorded + Live) Music Industry (2019)

Music is vitally important to millions across many generations, providing not just an evolving soundtrack, but for many an inspiration to personal identity and self-worth, providing access to a shared experience, community, fun and good times – ‘sex n’drugs & rock n’roll’.

Historically the recorded and publishing sectors dominated the cultural perception and commercial reality of music industry revenues controlling content, marketing and release schedules, pricing, licensing, and distribution with touring plans typically scheduled to follow album release priorities and extend catalogue revenues.

However, commentators over recent years have highlighted the money shift that occurred following the advent of internet file-sharing, whereby a whole generation opted out of paying to consume recorded music. 

For a decade and more live revenues grew whilst recorded shrank until the scalable adoption of streaming whose technology (largely developed by former bit-torrent ‘poachers turned gamekeepers’) with slick UI, convenience and near-universal catalogues finally enabled some form of return to health for the record companies (leaving to one side for the moment the ongoing debate about the level of net music streaming royalties paid to individual artists) with approximately $20.2Bn total revenues in 2019.

Global Recorded Music Industry Revenues 2001-19 (US $Bn)

(c) IFPI

By comparison, the live music industry experienced significant and prolonged growth during the same period with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) calculating that the total revenues of the live sector (ticket sales + event sponsorship) eventually exceeded that of recorded + publishing + sync.

Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2011-2020

(c) PwC / Ovum

Within a later edition of its annual report ‘Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2018-2022’ PwC then predicted that global ticket sales would grow from just over $22Bn in 2019 to more than $25Bn in 2023, whilst live music sponsorship would also grow from $5.91Bn to $6.46Bn over the same period, equating to a live music industry worth approximately $31.49bn in 2023 (

But concentrating on actuals as opposed to projections (with research collated from various public and private sources), in 2019 the combined global music industry (recorded + live) therefore equated to approximately $48Bn, of which recorded contributed $20Bn and live music $28Bn.

So how big was big? – $48Bn big! (2019)

So whilst the Pandemic meant recorded music consumption increased by approximately 12% (see the excellent Midia Research: the live industry has been effectively shutdown.

And to rebuild back to $28Bn is going to be far more difficult, and arguably take longer than desired by all participants.

To be continued ….


In Other News: June’21 (1/5) ‘Bread & Circuses’

Summer 2021 & the return of ’panem et circenses

As the live music industry nervously gears up for its return (‘The first to close, the last to reopen’), mindful of the evolving regulatory authorities’ response to COVID-19, vaccination roll-outs, levels and locations of any new Coronavirus variants, and their own internal organisational and fiscal preparedness, there are a number of questions relating to both the velocity and scale of any relaunch.

Not least because the hoped-for recovery may not be nearly as swift or as straightforward as desired following the last year+ of postponements, cancellations, and multiple lockdowns with politically-directed and oft inconsistent health guidelines.

As discussed in previous posts, the speed of any return, whether to the golden-era of 2019, or earlier, will depend upon a number of factors including: (international) Artist availability (Will domestic talent be able to exploit staggered market re-openings?); the accessibility of event and public liability insurance; the distressed events supplier services and logistics sectors; the need for local licensing authority agreements; and the cashflow impact of the COVID-19 shutdown(s) to event organisers – many of whom have utilised employee furloughs, redundancies, supplier contract terminations and event postponement (avoiding the need to offer consumer refunds for cancelled events) in a desperate attempt to survive.

The cash-deprived live sector, which historically has operated on thin-margins (typically requiring 70%+ paying capacity and then access to bar sales or other incremental revenues for event breakeven), cannot effectively operate with restrictive timeslots or socially-distanced reduced capacities that for example restaurants, galleries, museums, or theme parks have incorporated.

Some Promoter / Producers have already re-negotiated Artist fees requiring a greater level of shared risk, lower or no guarantees, applied downward pressure on show settlements and service supplier agreements to reflect the inherent risk of any relaunch with potentially smaller and/or nervous audiences coupled with the fragility of their own operations as they attempt to recoup the COVID-19 related costs of any newly onboarded corporate debt.

There is also the fiscal and operational reality that aside from restricted capacities some venues and event organisers may struggle to implement any required contactless technologies, increased ventilation, protective equipment for staff, and new health & safety signage whilst ensuring more regularised and intensive site cleaning is undertaken.

Additionally, many of the show reps, stage, sound & lighting crews, security, concierge, and concessions staff and all the other freelance, self-employed or zero hours employees who provide the oft invisible labour force that makes live music possible have all endured complicated, if not futile, efforts to attract furlough support, or collect unemployment benefits.

And so many may have been forced to take on other work, with employers reticent to re-hire too quickly. So the UK live events labour market does not yet show any rebound – ‘Lockdown restrictions continue to affect jobs and vacancies in two industry sectors more than others, with vacancies in arts, entertainment and recreation down 78.9% (18,000) from a year ago’ –

And then consumers attending events in 2021 (and beyond) may also be presented with a potentially emotionally dislocating event environment which includes: travelling to venues via reduced-capacity public transport with mandatory masks and the more anxious also carrying anti-viral wipes, tissues and disposable gloves; identity verification with temperature scans and/or health certification checks at event entrance; digital ticketing; contactless payments; the enforcement of some form of social-distancing within the event, with traffic-flows for access & egress to bars (dispensing single-portion pre-packaged F&B) and toilet facilities ideally with plentiful hand-sanitiser stations, all supported by onsite First-Aiders & Paramedics not at all exhausted after sixteen months on the COVID-19 front-line.

Will the ‘new normal’ therefore be a more restrained experience, with at least initially, fewer events and venues open, for a smaller than previous number of Artists able to perform (impacted by potentially lower show grosses as well as the added complications of travelling, especially for international artists) with lower than previous staffing levels, or will there be a ‘Roarin20s’ or ‘années folles’ of artistic and cultural dynamism with accelerated consumption?

Arguably it is more likely that the tremendous loss of life – over 152,000 (as of June 2021) in the UK alone – and the macroeconomic impact of the 2020-21 lockdown(s) will re-shape the existing codes of business behaviour, the level, and types of audience engagement as well as the commercial operations of the live music industry.

COVID-19 could prove to be a disruptive moment for live music in the same way that Napster impacted the recorded industry.


However, many Promoters have already claimed that there is an overwhelming demand for the return of live (Do you really expect them to say anything to the contrary?), from both Artists wanting to tour (Not least for economic self-necessity) and by Audiences wanting to re-embrace the live experience.

The daily announcement of new concerts and tours for 2022 and beyond is taken as proof-positive of the strength of this relaunch.

But closer examination of the actual ticket sales reveals many are previous bookings (from as far back as 2019) where customers have retained their tickets in nervous expectation of eventually attending, and new onsales are not consistently being embraced by audiences – in part because of the (over) supply exceeding demand for new events.

Promoters are trumpeting the fact that 2022 is ‘much stronger than usual’, with almost twice as many major touring artists on cycle than a typical year.

But are there more venues or twice as many weekend nights available next year? Further are audiences financially able and likely to attend twice as many events as in previous years?

Or will the glut of tour onsale announcements inevitably become the live music equivalent of ‘shipping platinum and returning gold’ i.e. can everything sell-out, or at least achieve breakeven?

Will the industry be able to adapt to and successfully integrate the new (temporary?) health protocols, and event capacity restrictions, whilst ensuring budgeted breakeven-plus (To aid their commercial relaunch and to pay down some of their newly acquired debt), and re-establish the formula of ticket pre-sales funding events several months in advance of the actual spectacle?

Or will Artists, and/or Rights Owners, and their Audiences continue to adopt new innovative platforms enabling remote but immersive connection, and monetisation, whether via gaming, livestreaming, AR, or VR, and, at least partially, sidestep the live experience?

To be continued …


UK Live Music: At A Cliff Edge – 170K Job Losses By End-of-Year

Proud to announce the release today of the ‘UK Live Music: At A Cliff Edge’ report produced in conjunction with Chris Carey ( on behalf of LIVE (Live Music Industry Venues & Entertainment).

The live music industry has been devasted by the impact of COVID-19 with the enforced shutdown of concerts, festivals and tours, the suspension of furlough support, little sector-specific support, major operators forced to make redundant hundreds at a time, and thousands of self-employed, freelancers and zero-hours staff losing their livelihoods.

Report findings include:

In 2019 live music supported 210,000 full-time equivalent roles, as well as tens of thousands of freelancers & contributed £4.5 billion to the UK economy

In 2020, revenue in the live music business will fall by 81%, and revenues have been close to zero since March

50% of permanent roles will be lost by the end of the year while temporary and freelance roles have already been decimated, totalling 170,000 job losses across the sector by year-end

Download the report here:


Op-Ed: Who Will Fill Our Arenas Next?

Noted within the Ticketing Business News (, which artists and events post-COVID will fill the global arena network?



Farewell to the Top 40: Who will fill our arenas next?

Posted by TheTicketingBusiness

5th August 2020

Image credit @StateFarmStdm


An eventual return to large-scale international live touring in 2021/22 is obviously subject to access to an effective vaccine(s).

Alongside which is the availability of reasonably-priced event and public liability insurance, the re-contracting of touring logistics (event production, equipment and crew – all typically freelance or self-employed and some of whom may not have fiscally survived the COVID-19 interregnum), enhanced Health & Safety protocols with increased requirements for audience identification and monitoring leading to potentially reduced event capacities, and the new show deals potentially exposing artists to greater levels of risk with low-or-no guarantees, will all combine to usher in a new era of live entertainment.

For the live touring sector there has long been some concern regarding the aging group of heritage acts and stadium rockstars – Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Roger Waters, Rolling Stones, The Who etc. as ‘Saint Death’ inevitably takes hostages.

For concert promoters and festival organisers which of the younger generation would combine that mass market appeal, back catalogue and the desire to tour with the necessary theatrical flair for album-based multi-hour spectaculars?


Whilst they are generally younger than the artists who first came to popular acclaim in the sixties and seventies, are Coldplay, The Killers, Madonna, Metallica, Pink!, Red Hot Chili Peppers, TakeThat or U2 going to commit to the next twenty-to-thirty years with the rigours of touring, and also have a global audience?

Perhaps the new generation of hip hop / rap / dance crossover: Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Chance The Rapper, Drake, Eminem, JayZ, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, or Usher with the growing internationalisation of tours expanding into China & the Pacific Rim, South America, and eventually Africa will become the predominate touring culture?

This does not mean that the increasingly niche rock market goes away, it just exists alongside Classical, Jazz, Opera and other ossified musical art forms – supported by historical government funding, advertorial media and the slow-moving record business.

Essentially the global live sector is evolving from white rock’n’roll, to a more contemporary and diverse RnB sound with artists that have also attracted new and different audiences – younger, more culturally diverse, socially engaged via smart phones, and experientially-orientated (as the cost of ownership is typically beyond them with housing, transportation & workspaces via subscription – AirBnb, Lime Scooters, Lyft, Uber, WeWork etc.).


The new live music audiences are young, urban and internationalist. They are working longer hours with relatively lower disposable personal income. The digitalisation of content means they experience music via their phones, on the move, or in bars and clubs – the traditional distribution channels of radio, billboard & print has been disrupted.  The new consumers stream music but typically don’t buy the physical product. They applaud individual tunes but don’t need to appreciate longer format releases.

To monetise this audience international tour promoters will target the growing global network of arenas (10k+ capacity) in the world’s top 200 capital cities. Whereas the larger theatres are usually only 3K-5K and are typically orientated towards the performing arts and theatre sector, and so the architecture and facilities tend to reflect those core civic constituencies and associated cultural and service requirement i.e. Founder & Sponsor Hospitality, Orchestra Pits, Acoustic Baffling & signature Architectural design. These lower capacity venues also typically don’t provide sufficient event ticketing ROI to incentivise the touring talent and their international event producers.

Arenas provide a controlled environment where the architecture and operations of the event space have been highly commoditised and producers everywhere know how to create, organise, and execute successfully. Load-In/Out, Stage Width & Access, Hang-Points & Overhead Clearance, Power Supply, Dressing Rooms, Parking and VIP Meet’n’Greet Facilities are all increasingly standardized within climate-controlled, concrete concourses and padded seats enabling the bling-conscious middle-class of Bangalore, Bogota or Bucharest to all experience the latest concert, theatrical or movie experience.


So, post-COVID whilst there will be fewer blockbuster stadium tours by aging artists celebrating their forty-year careers, it is likely that – because of the new economic and hygiene constraints but aided by the growth of arenas – there will be many more touring artists, albeit possibly only enjoying a four-year career reflecting their pop career, hit-tune, TV spectacular background, or other fleeting breakthrough-moment.


For further details please review at Ticketing Business News (




Live Nation Entertainment Has Received Approx. $60M In COVID-19 Payroll State Aid, Thus Far


Noted within the Live Nation Entertainment Inc. Q2 2020 Results:

Cost and Cash Management Programs

Given the uncertainty associated with the duration of current conditions globally, we have implemented a number of initiatives to reduce fixed costs and conserve cash. As part of these cost reduction efforts, we have implemented salary reductions for most of our employees, with salaries for senior executives reduced by up to 50%. Additional cost reduction efforts include hiring freezes, reduction in the use of contractors, rent re-negotiations, furloughs, and reduction or elimination of other discretionary spending, including, among other things, travel and entertainment, repairs and maintenance, and marketing.

We are also making full use of government support programs globally. In most European and Asian markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Australia, there are robust payroll support programs to mitigate a substantial portion of employee costs. Additionally, in the United States, we have filed for payroll support under the Employee Retention Credit program established as part of the 2020 CARES Act and expect to receive additional support in the second half of the year. Finally, the CARES Act also provides for deferred payment of the employer portion of social security taxes through the end of 2020, with 50% of the deferred amount due December 31, 2021 and the remaining 50% due December 31, 2022.

Form 10-Q (, Page 12.


The company’s $432 million adjusted operating income (AOI) loss for the quarter was driven primarily by operational fixed costs of approximately $334 million, inclusive of approximately $60 million in benefits from various government payroll funding programs.

Live Nation Entertainment, Supplemental Operational & Financial Information (, Page 1.





US Ticket Resale Borrows $77.5M

Noted within the Ticketing Business News ( a number of US ticket resale companies have borrowed $77.5M from the Government Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as of July 2020.

The US secondary ticketing sector is borrowing up to $77.5m via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to remain afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the live events industry to a complete standstill for four months ……’


Until there are new onsales for new events, at scale, ticket retail companies are living on borrowed time, and for postponed events on consumers cash.




Live Music & Theatre Research (June 2020)

Delighted to have been able to assist Chris Carey ( noted data scientist, conference organizer, cricket-obsessive and Head of Marketing at TicketSwap (, in the recent ‘Valuation of the UK Live Entertainment Industries’ research project.

At short notice, we were requested to produce a model of the UK live music and theatre sectors detailing Gross Value Added, Revenues & Employment etc. impacting the UK national economy.

The key findings were then used within the recent #LetTheMusicPlay campaign and also supported the wider live entertainment submission to the DCMS in the campaign for financial support from the UK Government:

  • Live Entertainment and Theatre generates £11.25 Billion in Gross Added Value (GVA) in each year
  • Theatre contributes £4.8 Billion GVA, supporting 290,000 jobs
  • Music contributes £4.5 Billion GVA with £2.74 Billion GVA from Concerts and £1.76 Billion GVA from Festivals
  • Music supports 210,000 FTE jobs with 125,000 through Concerts and 85,000 through Festivals
  • Other Entertainment contributes £1.95 Billion GVA contributing another 100,000 jobs


Under the time constraint it was not possible to commission new lengthy assessments, so instead the approach was to take existing published insights combined with sector expertise and private data from various industry sources to best represent the sectors on a consistent basis. 

We attempted to harmonize definitions, avoid any double-counting of revenues by the differing sector service providers (for example, collection agencies and ticketing), whilst modelling additional contributions from organisations representing artists, concert promoters, festivals, and grassroots music venues to produce a coherent structure for sector definition.

We also developed a methodology for defining ancillary services and incremental spend around events, to provide a clear understanding of the total live entertainment activities and economic impact.

The figures for live music were largely built by aggregating various sector reports including UK Music’s ( long-established ’Music By Numbers’ analysis, the National Arenas Association (NAA) and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) annual reports, with other contributions including work by the British Association of Concert Halls (BACH) and the Music Venue Trust (MVT).

For the theatre sector we utilised the invaluable Society of London Theatre / UK Theatre annual reports, as well as data received from the Really Useful Group which utilised pre-existing Arts Council methodology.

We are grateful to all organisations and individuals for their support of this cross industry effort, but especially ILMC ( / IQ Magazine (, Really Useful Group, and UK Music.

Further enquiries regarding the research are directed to:



Now to the gangster shit: Ticket fees.

Noted within the Testset ( article:

Live Nation Canceled Bonnaroo 2020 Today, ACL is Next?
by testset June 25, 2020


Now to the gangster shit: Ticket fees.

Ticketmaster, a wholly owned subsidiary of Live Nation, argues that when they sell you a ticket, they are rendering a service. Hence, all of the fees they add to tickets are non-refundable. This includes service fees, facility fees, taxes, etc. Then, when you go to buy a ticket to the refunded, postponed and now rescheduled event, you pay those fees all over again. This is a comical dance and it’s absurdity is not lost on other commentators. Tim Chambers ( an expert on the concert industry and ticketing, does a great job of articulating this problem:

“From the perspective of the disappointed fan, patron or supporter, the response is immediate and clear, if an event is cancelled, they would expect a refund in full i.e. the price they paid. Assuming they bought via a primary source (how would the consumer know any differently?) and after excitedly waiting several months since the OnSale, during which they confirm their identity, contact details, payment and agreement to receiving follow-up marketing messages from the artist / promoter / venue / sponsor / ticket retailer, it’s disappointment enough that the event is not happening. But to add insult to injury ticket retailers then routinely expect that consumers will accept that a partial service has been provided, and therefore only part-refund will take place ‘*as specified in the original (small-print) 30-point Terms & Conditions’. The argument being that as the now invalid tickets (whether physical or digital) have been delivered in advance, and that a part-service has been provided, this must therefore be paid for, by the disappointed ticket-buyer.”

The retailer then typically informs the consumer that refunds for the original ticket face-value may be further delayed whilst they retrieve revenues advanced to the event organiser (as per their internal supply-side agreement) and that it may take up to 30 days to process their refund request – comparing somewhat less favourably from the micro-seconds it took to take payment all those months ago.”


For further details:

And thanks to Testset.



Examining COVID-19’s Impact on Britain’s Live and Recorded Music Industries

Delighted to have been able to assist noted economist Will Page ( in his examination of the impact COVID-19 has on the UK Live and Recorded Music industries.

(c) Will Page / Billboard / PRS / ERA 

For further details please review:


Point de vue

Via Printzblog

With thanks to Patrick Printz


30th May 2020

Point de vue: Le coronavirus représente une menace existentielle pour le modèle économique établi de l’industrie du spectacle

De T.J. Chambers sur son blog (en anglais):

Le carnage économique et culturel de la pandémie de coronavirus, avec l’annulation de concerts et de festivals, la fermeture de sites, les permissions de sortie des agences d’artistes, des promoteurs/producteurs et le report d’événements jusqu’à je ne sais quand, marque une période de repli fondamental pour l’industrie du spectacle vivant telle qu’elle se présente actuellement.

La suspension des événements et des divertissements en présence d’un public n’est pas due à un changement dans le désir fondamental d’une expérience commune et partagée des performances culturelles, mais plutôt aux restrictions globales de sécurité sanitaire et de bien-être social concernant la sécurité des rassemblements et des voyages publics.

Toutefois, le verrouillage a révélé de manière flagrante la fragilité du modèle économique actuel du secteur du spectacle vivant (Artiste > Promoteur > Lieu > Sponsor > Billetterie > Consommateur), qui repose essentiellement sur le consommateur final pour financer à l’avance les opérations du secteur.

For further details: