Music industry to nearly double in value by the end of the decade, Goldman Sachs says

By | May 20, 2020

A person wears a protective face mask while walking with a bicycle in Domino Park in Williamsburg during the coronavirus pandemic on May 17, 2020 in New York City.

Noam Galai | Getty Images

Goldman Sachs expects global music revenues to tumble by up to 25% in 2020, largely due to widespread disruption across all sectors of the industry due to the coronavirus crisis.

Analysts at the U.S. investment bank said in a research note that live music would be “severely impacted” by the postponement and cancellation of events this year, leading to a 75% drop in revenue.

But, over the longer-term, analysts at the bank expected a strong rebound, citing the secular growth of paid streaming, growing demand for music content and live events, new licensing opportunities and positive regulatory developments.

As a result, global music revenues were projected to reach $ 142 billion by the end of the decade, reflecting an 84% increase when compared to the 2019 level of $ 77 billion.

Long-term growth outlook remains ‘intact’

To date, more than 4.9 million people have contracted the coronavirus, with 323,333 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic has meant countries have effectively had to shut down, with many world leaders imposing stringent restrictions on the daily lives of billions of people.

A view outside Radio City Music Hall during the Coronavirus pandemic on March 31, 2020 in New York City. President Trump has extended the social distancing guidelines to April 30.

Noam Galai | Getty Images

The confinement measures, which vary in their application but broadly include school closures, bans on public gatherings and social distancing, are expected to result in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

With worldwide mobility brought close to a standstill, analysts at Goldman Sachs said time spent listening to music “may shift away from music streaming to other forms of entertainment in the short term.”

But, “we believe the industry’s long-term growth outlook is intact,” they added.

Who are the main beneficiaries?

The bank estimated the online streaming market could grow to capture 1.2 billion users by 2030. To be sure, that’s almost four times higher than the 2019 level of 341 million paid subscribers.

Analysts at Goldman singled out record companies Universal Music Group and Sony Music as the “main beneficiaries” of the growth of streaming and improved monetization of music content.

“The streaming platforms also stand to beneļ¬t from the rising adoption of music streaming and their vast amount of consumer data, although competition will likely intensify: we prefer leading, scaled players such as Spotify and Tencent Music,” they said.

“Meanwhile, we believe YouTube is particularly well-placed to capture the growing usage and monetization of music videos through both advertising and subscriptions,” they added.

Goldman Sachs disclosed it has received compensation for investment banking services from Alphabet, Spotify, Tencent Music Entertainment Group and Vivendi over the last 12 months. It also holds a position greater than $ 15 million (or equivalent) in the debt or debt instruments of Vivendi.

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