Music Marketing Author and Course Instructor

Blog Post
2008 Music Biz Revenue up 4.7% in UK – Diversification Key

Posted on 7/22/2009

Interesting report released this week by Will Page, chief economist at PRS for Music, the UK’s performance rights organization. The entire report can downloaded here, but the details, in a nutshell:

* The value of the recorded music biz fell 6%
* The value of the live music industry in the UK increased 13%
* Licensing revenues from labels increased 7%
* Other publishing revenues increased 7%
* Digital music grew by almost 50% in 2008, with physical declining by roughly 10%

“Ultimately we’re going from a market which lots of revenue came from one very big source,” said Will Page, “to one where we’re generating many different sources of revenue, some will be big some will be small – but they will all matter more going forward.”

Not all the information is rosy for developing artists. As highlighted by Glenn Peoples from Billboard, in both digital sales and live music, there is a growing income disparity. “This growing inequality between heritage acts and the rest of the pack mirrors a separate trend identified in digital music,” wrote PRS, “where more choice led to a widening gap between the hits and niches.” Popular, older artists are demanding higher ticket prices. The growth of secondary ticketing services – their revenue is included in the study – has fueled the growth in ticket prices. But mid-tier artists, those who cannot raise prices seemingly at will, are a cause for “real concern.” The same can be said for sponsorship and advertising dollars, which often are titled in favor of the most popular artists. In effect, advertising agencies now act as a gatekeeper that benefits the select few who pass through.

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