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UK Music and Other Audio Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Music and Other Audio market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Products covered in this Report

This Report examines how people consume audio content in the UK. Audio content refers to:

  • Physical media including CDs and vinyl
  • Streaming of free or paid-for music using online services or mobile apps
  • Downloading of music
  • Streaming or downloading of podcasts

What you need to know

2017 was a very good year for the UK music market. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reported that music consumption increased by 9.5% across all formats with 135.1 million albums streamed, downloaded or purchased. Growth was driven by a 51% increase in streaming to 68.1 billion streams. Mintel estimates that music industry income increased by 15% in 2017 to £831 million. As take-up of paid-for music streaming services grows and free streaming services look to boost advertising, Mintel expects streaming income to continue to increase significantly over the coming years leading to more overall growth for the market.

Beyond growth in streaming, the other positive story for the music industry has been the resilience of the physical market. While fewer CDs are being purchased, some 26% of people still bought a CD in the last three months. The vinyl market meanwhile is still booming, highlighting the desire for tangible ownership in a digital world. Digital music purchases are declining sharply though with the format unable to compete with streaming services.

One of the most exciting developments for the music industry, and audio in general, has been the introduction of voice-controlled smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Not since the introduction of the smartphone has a new physical device had such potential to significantly alter and add to people’s consumption of audio content.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca McGrath, a leading analyst in the Media sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The introduction of voice-controlled smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo, has been a very exciting development for audio markets. As the popularity of the device grows it can significantly impact how, when and which content people are listening to. Streaming services are now competing to best understand how to provide people with the most appropriate content based solely on audible requests/cues. Rebecca McGrath
Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The Market
            • Streaming growth drives industry income growth of 15% in 2017
              • Figure 1: UK music industry income from physical, digital and streaming, 2012-22
            • Audio streams made up over half of music consumption in 2017
              • Key Players
                • More than eight in 10 free streamers use YouTube
                  • Nearly six in 10 paid streamers use Spotify Premium
                    • Voice-controlled speakers give greater focus to audio quality
                      • Spotify adds new visual layer to podcasts with Spotlight
                        • The consumer
                          • Four in 10 people listen to a free music streaming service
                            • Figure 2: Use of music formats, February 2018
                          • The radio is the most popular device for listening to music
                            • Figure 3: Device used to listen to music, February 2018
                          • Opinion divided on how helpful voice control is
                            • Figure 4: Attitudes towards smart speakers, February 2018
                          • People want more music diversity from streaming services
                            • Figure 5: Attitudes towards music streaming services, February 2018
                          • Adverts in the middle of podcasts are less likely to be skipped
                            • Figure 6: Podcast advertising, February 2018
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Voice-controlled speakers set to have a big impact on music habits
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Sound quality to become more important for smart speakers
                                    • Voice control alters how people discover music
                                      • Greater investment in podcasts
                                        • The facts
                                          • Consumers value podcast content
                                            • Podcast advertising becomes more sophisticated
                                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                              • Streaming growth drives industry income growth of 15% in 2017
                                                • Audio streams made up over half of music consumption in 2017
                                                  • Voice-controlled smart speakers to impact music consumption
                                                    • New rules introduced for Official Singles Charts to help new artists
                                                      • YouTube under pressure from music industry
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Streaming growth drives industry income growth of 15% in 2017
                                                          • Physical market value falls less than expected
                                                            • Figure 7: UK music industry income from physical, digital and streaming, 2012-22
                                                            • Figure 8: UK music industry income from physical, digital and streaming, 2012-22
                                                          • Segment forecasts
                                                            • Figure 9: UK music industry income from streaming services, 2012-22
                                                            • Figure 10: UK music industry income from physical sales, 2012-22
                                                            • Figure 11: UK music industry income from digital sales, 2012-22
                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                          • Market Segmentation

                                                            • Streaming continues to drive market forwards but physical remains resilient
                                                              • Figure 12: Music industry income, 2012-16
                                                            • Audio streams grow to account for over half the music market
                                                              • Figure 13: Volume of UK audio streams, 2014-17
                                                            • The vinyl revival is not slowing down
                                                              • Figure 14: Vinyl album sales, 2013-17
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • Voice-controlled smart speakers to impact music consumption
                                                              • Figure 15: Ownership and interest in smart speakers, April 2018
                                                            • YouTube under pressure from music industry
                                                              • New rules introduced for Official Singles Charts to help new artists
                                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                • More than eight in 10 free streamers use YouTube
                                                                  • Nearly six in 10 paid streamers use Spotify Premium
                                                                    • Spotify adds new visual layer to podcasts with Spotlight
                                                                      • Spotify launches new self-serve ad platform
                                                                        • Voice-controlled speakers give greater focus to audio quality
                                                                          • YouTube reportedly to launch new music streaming service in US
                                                                          • Streaming Services – Market Share

                                                                            • More than eight in 10 free streamers use YouTube
                                                                              • Figure 16: Use of free music streaming services, February 2018
                                                                            • Nearly six in 10 paid streamers use Spotify Premium
                                                                              • Figure 17: Use of paid-for music streaming service, February 2018
                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                            • Spotify adds new visual layer to podcasts with Spotlight
                                                                              • Spotify launches new self-serve ad platform
                                                                                • Voice-controlled speakers put greater focus on audio quality
                                                                                  • Spotify might be looking to introduce its own smart speaker
                                                                                    • Spotify introduces RISE to help find new stars
                                                                                      • Apple introduces new Analytics dashboard for artists
                                                                                        • YouTube reportedly to launch new music streaming service in US
                                                                                        • Brand Research – Streaming Services

                                                                                            • Brand map
                                                                                              • Figure 18: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, April 2018
                                                                                            • Key brand metrics
                                                                                              • Figure 19: Key metrics for selected brands, April 2018
                                                                                            • Brand attitudes: Spotify is viewed as offering more value for money
                                                                                              • Figure 20: Attitudes, by brand, April 2018
                                                                                            • Brand personality: Apple Music perceived as more unethical and exclusive
                                                                                              • Figure 21: Brand personality – macro image, April 2018
                                                                                            • Spotify is the most appealing streaming service
                                                                                              • Figure 22: Brand personality – micro image, April 2018
                                                                                            • Brand analysis
                                                                                              • Amazon Prime Music is viewed as reliable and accessible
                                                                                                • Figure 23: User profile of Amazon Prime Music, April 2018
                                                                                              • Spotify has the strongest and most positive brand image
                                                                                                • Figure 24: User profile of Spotify, April 2018
                                                                                              • People consider Apple Music to be expensive
                                                                                                • Figure 25: User profile of Apple Music, April 2018
                                                                                              • Google Play doesn’t stand out
                                                                                                • Figure 26: User profile of Google Play Music, April 2018
                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                              • Four in 10 listen to a free music streaming service
                                                                                                • The radio is the most popular device for listening to music
                                                                                                  • Many question the sound quality of smart speakers
                                                                                                    • People want more music diversity from streaming services
                                                                                                      • One in three listen to podcasts
                                                                                                        • Many are willing to pay for podcasts
                                                                                                        • Use of Music Formats

                                                                                                          • Four in 10 listen to a free music streaming service
                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Use of music formats, February 2018
                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Use of music formats, by age, February 2018
                                                                                                          • Over one in four still buy CDs
                                                                                                            • Younger people are still downloading music
                                                                                                            • Use of Streaming Services

                                                                                                              • YouTube is the most popular streaming service
                                                                                                                • Spotify looks to boost advertising revenue
                                                                                                                  • One in four free streamers listen to BBC iPlayer Radio
                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Use of free music streaming services, February 2018
                                                                                                                  • Over half of paid-for streamers use Spotify Premium
                                                                                                                    • Services look for ways of offering exclusivity
                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Use of paid-for music streaming service, February 2018
                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Repertoire of paid-for music streaming services used, February 2018
                                                                                                                  • Devices Used to Listen to Audio

                                                                                                                    • The radio is the most popular device for listening to music
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Device used to listen to music, February 2018
                                                                                                                    • One in 10 use a smart speaker to listen to music
                                                                                                                      • Two in three 16-24-year-olds listen to music on mobile devices
                                                                                                                        • One in three have listened to a podcast in the last three months
                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Devices used to listen to podcasts, February 2018
                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Smart Speakers

                                                                                                                        • Apple looks to cater for audiophiles
                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Attitudes towards smart speakers, February 2018
                                                                                                                        • Opinion divided on how helpful voice control is
                                                                                                                          • Voice control to change discovery on streaming services
                                                                                                                            • Collective vs individual listening
                                                                                                                              • Removing the visual aspect of discovery could narrow music requests
                                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards Music Streaming Services

                                                                                                                                • People want more music diversity from streaming services
                                                                                                                                  • People struggle to remember music details when searching
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Attitudes towards music streaming services, February 2018
                                                                                                                                  • One in four want to see their friends’ music
                                                                                                                                  • Podcast Payment and Advertising

                                                                                                                                    • Podcasts show financial potential
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Willingness to pay for podcasts, February 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Willingness to pay for podcasts, by age, February 2018
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Willingness to pay for podcasts, by household income, February 2018
                                                                                                                                    • Adverts in the middle of podcasts are less likely to be skipped
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Podcast advertising, February 2018
                                                                                                                                    • One in four often hear the same products advertised across podcasts
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                            • Forecasts
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: UK music industry income from physical, digital and streaming, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: UK music industry income from physical, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: UK music industry income from digital, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: UK music industry income from streaming, 2017-22
                                                                                                                                            • Forecast methodology