The Relationship Between Music And Technology In The UK & U.S.

By October 3, 2014Music

A mobile couple1

A report from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) yesterday revealed that an increase in demand for music from UK consumers has lead to a noticeable boost in sales of technology products.

In contrast to the other G7 countries, UK consumers spend an average of nearly a quarter more per head on music. This has resulted in billions of pounds worth of additional expenditure on music-related technology products within the UK.

Across the G7 countries between 2008-2012 the UK’s high level of music consumption accounted for £11bn in sales of technology products which is shown here:

  • £8.4bn additional value in the sales of smartphones;
  • £2.5bn additional value in the sales of tablets;
  • £384m additional value in the sales of mp3 players; and
  • £74m additional value in the sales of Integrated Audio Systems.       £11.4bn total

The above shows that UK consumers spend a higher amount on music per capita than most other developed nations. In 2012 the average was reaching nearly 25% more, leading to higher sales of consumer technology products.

The economic modelling for the study has calculated for each 1% increase in demand for music corresponds to a 1.4% rise in the sale of smartphones ( 1.4% rise to £77.6m), tablets (2.2% rise to £52.6m).

Due to the significant increase within the UK music market, we have seen a massive boost to consumer technology and the wider economy. This effect represents three times the value of the recorded music income, which between 2008-2012 came to £4.2bn.

Geoff Taylor, Chief executive at BPI has said “It is well-known that recorded music is one of the UK’s most successful exports, but this study demonstrates that Britain’s love of it also boosts our economy by generating billions of pounds a year in additional consumer technology sales. The relationship between music and tech is symbiotic

In the U.S. 93% of the population listen to music and spend more that 25 hours each week listening to their most desired tracks, representing hundreds of millions of Americans, seeing music as their most valued form of entertainment.

A report from Nielsen, published yesterday has also given us insight into the platforms Americans use to listen to music. The report shows us that 59% of people listen to music each week via online radio streams and a combination of over-the-air AM/FM stations proving that Radio is the most popular platform for music consumption.

In terms of technology, smartphones are the third most popular device used as a platform to listen to music following radio and computers. However, there is an increasing number of users listening to music through smartphones. This is due to the ease with which it is possible to access huge music libraries from the comfort of your palm. The report also shows that 7 out of 10 Americans now own a smartphone. This increase has lead to an impact on music sales of 39%, with smartphone owners purchasing music via their device in 2014, which is up 34% from a year ago.

It is clear that both music and technology are increasingly intertwined commodities, influenced by consumer habits and needs and both develop effectively together. The technology industry is constantly developing new ways for users to access music and listen to their most desired tracks with the utmost convenience which, in turn, increases the overall consumption of music. Music businesses continuously market new exciting talent inspiring and motivating consumers to invest in new ways to listen and enjoy music, on the move, in the car, around the house and with increased loyalty.

Source: BPI, Nielsen

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