Good News for Price Increases: UK Streaming Subscription Revenue Grew Nearly 10% During 2023 Following Across-the-Board Price Hikes, Data Shows

uk music streaming revenue
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uk music streaming revenue
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The River Clyde in Glasgow. Photo Credit: Adam Marikar

Following the across-the-board implementation of music streaming price increases, UK subscription revenue rose nearly 10 percent year over year (YoY) during 2023 to $2.37 billion (£1.87 billion), according to newly released data.

London’s ERA reached out to DMN with details about the 2023 performance of the UK’s entertainment sector, referring specifically to music, gaming, and video.

With $15.09 billion (£11.87 billion) attributed to entertainment overall for 2023 – this and other mentioned amounts reflect the current pound-dollar exchange rate – the space is said to have grown by an even seven percent from 2022.

As part of the total, the ERA placed music sales (solely from physical products, streaming subscriptions, and permanent downloads, that is) at $2.82 billion (£2.22 billion) last year, up roughly 9.6 percent YoY.

In keeping with consumption data for the global industry, and as highlighted at the outset, UK music streaming revenue from subscriptions made up the lion’s share of domestic sales at $2.37 billion/£1.87 billion (up 9.8 percent YoY), per the report.

The figure is worth keeping front of mind as platforms continue to revamp their payout particulars, their pricing, and more in 2024.

Spotify formally revealed far-reaching price increases last summer, and now, it, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited alike charge £10.99 per month for individual plans in the UK. (Prime members pay £9.99 monthly, and Deezer’s gone ahead and set an aggressive £11.99-per-month price.)

Shifting to the sale of physical music products – which had suffered a four percent YoY slip in the UK during 2022, as calculated by the ERA – the items scored a 10.9 percent YoY value boost across 2023, bringing in $395.29 million (£311 million), the document shows.

While most of the associated sum rather predictably derived from vinyl ($225.35 million/£177.3 million, up 17.8 percent YoY), CDs achieved a two percent YoY sales-value improvement – the first such increase in two decades – to hit $160.40 million (£126.2 million), the ERA relayed. The remaining $9.53 million/£7.5 million presumably resulted from cassettes and other products yet.

Rounding out the music-sales side, permanent downloads, despite having declined in revenue for several years running, managed to generate $54.28 million (£42.7 million) in the UK during 2023, per the analysis.

Though relatively substantial given streaming’s prominence and widespread availability, the total marks a 5.9 percent decrease from 2022, the text indicates.

All told, the UK music sales pinpointed by the ERA for 2023, totaling $2.82 billion or so, once again, were the highest since 2001 and only 0.08 percent away (not factoring for inflation) from topping that year’s revenue, the organization emphasized.

Bigger picture, in spite of these stats, different reports have shed light upon UK musicians’ far-from-ideal average earnings as well as the continued closure of domestic music venues, which have faced more than a few operational difficulties, beginning with COVID-19 lockdown measures back in 2020, throughout recent years.