PRS report: British music industry is in rude health

PRS Music's Economist says the UK music industry is in rude health
PRS Music's Economist says the UK music industry is in rude health

A new music industry study claims that, despite all the brow-beating and chin-stroking about the 'problems' of illegal downloading and P2P piracy, the British music industry is in rude health.

The study comes courtesy of Will Page, Chief Economist at PRS for Music, a UK-based group that collects royalties for music writers, composers, and publishers.

Page claims that total music industry revenues in 2008 were actually UP 4.7% since 2007. While overall sales of recorded music fell 6 per cent (with revenues from digital downloads up 50 per cent while physical dropped 10 per cent), concert ticket sales were up by 13 per cent.

UK music continues to succeed

"The aim of this report was to not only add up the revenues generated by the UK music industry, but also to show how it all hangs together," explains the PRS Economist.

"In particular, this helps us have a better understanding of business to business revenues, which now make up a quarter of the total. Reading beneath the top line, recorded is down and live is up – reflecting the success of so-called "heritage" acts like the Police and Neil Young on the road.

"Historically record companies have been the primary investor in new acts so the question the industry should ask is this: who will invest in developing the "heritage" acts of tomorrow?"

Jeremy Fabinyi, Acting CEO PRS for Music added that the report "helps us understand what's at stake and appreciate how the industry currently works," which, he adds, "not only helps our industry work together to overcome some of the common hurdles we currently face, but also increase cooperation across all segments to grow the overall market.

"And while the economic outlook for 2009 remains challenging, PRS for Music is confident that UK musical talent will continue to succeed, both at home and abroad."

For the full report check out the Adding up the Music Industry for 2008


Adam Hartley