UK: Live Events Thrive In An Online World

Last Updated: 27 February 2018
Article by Deloitte LLP

"People enjoy being part of a conversation and sharing experiences – the social media era has created a 'fear of missing out' culture that has boosted the demand for attending those must-see live events and performances."

The key trends that Deloitte predicts for live broadcast and events:

  • Collectively live broadcast and events will generate direct revenues of £24 billion in the UK and £400 billion globally in 2018; respectively, a two and one percent increase on the previous year.
  • Ninety-eight percent (£392 billion) of live revenues are forecast to come from traditional sectors (see Figure 1), with the remainder from live streaming and eSports.
  • Live TV and radio broadcasting is expected to generate 72 percent (£288 billion) of all live revenues in 2018 (see Figure 1).

What components of live broadcast and events generate the largest revenues?

The largest component is likely to be broadcast TV, with £265 billion from advertising and subscriptions globally. Followed by radio, with almost all revenue coming from advertising. In the UK, time spent listening to the radio has varied little in recent years, at about 20 hours per week, with 90 percent of the population listening to the radio at least weekly.

Live events – spanning performances such as concerts and shows (£27 billion), exhibitions and conferences (£28 billion), sports gate revenue (£24 billion), and cinema (£29 billion) – are forecast to grow collectively by £3.7 billion, to £108 billion globally in 2018.

Figure 1. Live revenues, 2018 (£ billion). Source: Deloitte Global analysis, 2017

What are the new live event genres?

Almost all revenue from live events is being generated by traditional formats, but new genres, primarily live streaming and eSports, are enjoying surging revenue, albeit from a low base. We forecast a 46 percent rise in revenues for new formats to £6.2 billion globally in 2018, equivalent to 1.5 percent of all live revenue. Live-streaming revenue should reach £5.5 billion globally in 2018, a 47 percent increase over the previous year. The primary revenue model for this market is likely to be tipping, whereby viewers donate money to performers.

How can enterprises use digital tools to enhance the live market?

There are several core reasons why live content – across broadcast and events – will remain compelling and lucrative in 2018, and there are multiple ways in which digital tools can be used to enhance the appeal of live content and events.

Convenience and inertia: It is easier, for the majority of viewers, to watch at a scheduled time than to make their own schedule. Data should be used in conjunction with a scheduler's instinct about what people are going to watch or listen to and at what time.

Fear of missing out: People enjoy being part of a conversation, and social networks make it easier to be reminded of upcoming live events and more galling to have missed them. Eventgoers live streaming from an event may encourage the streamers' social network group to purchase future tickets.

Shared experiences: Whether it is the final of a reality TV show, a concert, a trade show or the first people landing on the moon, most people relish experiencing events that connect them to other people. Communal voting is one trusted way of making viewers feel as though they're part of a show; with today's technology, voting and other forms of participation can take place on a massive scale.

Exclusivity: Live performances are accessible to only a few. Encouraging people to trumpet, via social media, their attendance at an exclusive enclave or event is likely to goad others into purchasing premium access next time around.

Enhanced customer experience: Technology can also be used to improve the event experience, starting with slick mobile commerce sites, smartphone ticketing, automated ticket barriers, in-stadium connectivity and more.

What can you do?

Read the full global prediction

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