Total radio revenue will surpass US$50bn in 2018, but growth will slow as music streaming continues to pose challenges. Total radio revenue will reach US$50.7bn by 2018, rising from US$44.5bn in 2013. Nevertheless, it will be a market under pressure from streaming music — a movement that could have repercussions for radio’s digital future. Annual growth is expected to slow from 3.0% in 2016 to 2.3% in 2018.
The US leads the way, despite China’s gains. Although China’s total radio revenue will be more than 50% higher in 2018 than in 2013, the country will still only account for 6% of global radio revenue by 2018. The US, by contrast, will account for 44% of global radio revenue, with Germany in second place with 9%.
Free music has implications for radio advertising revenue. Radio advertising revenue will reach US$39.1bn by 2018, rising at a CAGR of 2.8%. Yet broadcasters are at risk from music streaming providers as services launch free-to-consumer mobile offerings and compete directly for radio advertising dollars.
In-car convergence will impact upon the ‘heartland’ of radio. In-car interactive dashboards are enabling music streaming apps to make their presence felt. This development threatens to take radio listening time away from both traditional and satellite radio.
The innovators of digital radio are under threat. There are few success stories in digital radio, with the market’s technology transition path unclear. Analogue technology remains the global listening choice, while the inroads made by music streaming apps create an uncertain future for digital.
The ‘tyranny of choice’: how broadcasters can forge a path through the competition. The prospect of music catalogues running to 30mn tracks can be dizzying for the consumer. Curation is the answer and radio broadcasters have the opportunity to capitalise, thus minimising competitor disruption.
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