The music industry is in crisis. It has been for some time. The question on all label exec's minds is how to combat the increasing problem of illegal filesharing via P2P networks.

Ex-Undertones lead singer Feargal Sharkey is heading up umbrella organisation UK Music. It has been set up specifically to look for workable solutions to this problem, setting out a five-year plan this week to get the UK's ailing music industry back on its feet.

Media Guardian reports that the group has been set up specifically to "present a united front to the challenges facing the industry and speak with a coherent voice to the press, and lobby policy makers in Westminster and Brussels… with the launch of a manifesto and a collective submission to the government on illegal file sharing."

Collaboration needed

Members of UK Music include trade body the BPI, the Association of Independent Music, the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, performing rights body the MCPS-PRS Alliance, the Music Managers Forum, the Music Publishers Association, the Musicians Union and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL).

Manifestos are all well and good, but UK Music will succeed (or fail) on the quality of its own work in research and education, with the University of Hertfordshire already commissioned to carry out further research into the consumption of music by young people.

"The thing we all realised is that we all agree with each other 95 per cent of the time," noted Sharkey. "It's looking at where the industry is going to be three, four or five years from now.

"Quite simply, music is one of the few areas where this nation continues to punch above its weight and something we should all be celebrating."