A study published today by the BPI - the trade body that represents recorded music - has found that the UK obsession with music is not only helping to drive the rapid uptake of consumer technology, it is also generating huge additional demand for the latest smartphones and tablets.
UK consumers spend on average nearly a quarter more per head on music than their counterparts in other G7 countries. This is resulting in billions of Pounds worth of additional expenditure on music-related technology products in the UK - purchases that are well above and beyond the level that would occur if per capita spend was in line with the lower G7 average.
The independent economic study models the impact that an increase in music sales has on technology purchases. It tracks variations in spending patterns between 2008 and 2012 across G7 countries, and demonstrates that during this 5-year period the UK's relatively high consumption of music accounted for an additional £11bn in sales of technology products (see table 1), broken down as:
- £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 data confirms that consumers in the UK spend a great deal more on music per capita than in most other developed nations. In 2012 this averaged at nearly 25 per cent more (see table 1), resulting in proportionately greater sales of consumer technology products. The economic modelling used by the study calculates that for every 1 per cent increase in demand for music there is a corresponding 1.4 per cent lift in sales of smartphones, equivalent to £77.6m, while tablets benefit by a 2.2 per cent rise, translating to £52.6m (see table 2).
The music market in the UK therefore creates a significant 'multiplier' effect that gives a massive boost to the consumer technology sector in this country as well as to the wider economy. This effect is nearly three times the value of recorded music income by itself, which between 2008 - 2012 amounted to £4.2bn (£5.4bn if measured as retail spend).
Music and technology grow together. The technology industry innovates constantly to develop new and more convenient ways for people to listen to their favourite recordings, and this boosts the consumption of music. By the same token, music companies continually nurture and market exciting new talent which inspires and motivates consumers to invest in new ways to enjoy music - whether on the go, around the house or in the car, and with ever-greater fidelity.