Music royalties reach a record high - but a storm is coming

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Music royalties reach a document excessive - however a storm is coming

  • 14 Might 2020
Ed Sheeran and Mabel Picture copyright Getty Photographs
Picture caption Ed Sheeran and Mabel have been among the British singer-songwriters who scored major hits in 2019

Musicians and songwriters within the UK acquired a document sum of money final yr, but the loss of reside music poses a serious menace to revenue in 2020.

The warning was issued by PRS for Music, the physique that makes positive 145,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in the UK are paid when their music is performed or performed around the globe.

The organisation collected a report £810m final yr, an increase of eight.7%.

However it stated Covid-19 would end in an "inevitable decline" in 2020 and 2021.

"Although we had a record-breaking yr, we know very properly that we're in unprecedented, unpredictable occasions," chief government Andrea Martin informed the BBC.

Revenues from "reside music and public performance might be hit" not just in 2020 however in 2021, as international payments typically take time to trickle down, she stated.

"There might be a downfall," she added. "However by how a lot and by what per cent... your guess is simply nearly as good as mine."

The state of affairs will hit smaller acts, lots of whom have been already struggling earlier than the pandemic, the toughest.

'Catastrophic blow'

PRS processed 18.eight trillion "performances" of music final yr, together with streams, downloads, radio and TV broadcasts, and music played in pubs, golf equipment, hairdressers and live performance venues.

UK songwriters contributed to most of the yr's most-played hits, including like Someone You Liked by Lewis Capaldi, Previous City Street by Lil Nas X and Do not Call Me Up by Mabel.

Greatest-selling singles of 2019

1) Lewis CapaldiSomebody You Liked
2) Lil Nas XPrevious Town Street
3) Ed Sheeran, Justin BieberI Don't Care
four) Billie EilishDangerous Man
5) Calvin Harris, Rag'N'Bone ManBig
6) Ava MaxSweet But Psycho
7) StormzyVossi Bop
eight) Tones & IDance Monkey
9) MabelDo not Name Me Up
10) Camila Cabello, Shawn MendesSeñorita
Supply: Official Charts

Stay music generated £54m in royalties, up £15m since 2018. Revenues have been boosted by main tours from the Spice Women, Sir Elton John, Ed Sheeran and the return of Glastonbury after a fallow yr in 2018.

However with a whole summer time of festivals cancelled and dozens of main tours postponed till 2021, that figure can be unattainable to recreate in next yr's results.

Image copyright Getty Pictures
Picture caption The Spice Women' reunion tour grossed £78m final yr, however this summer time's stadium live shows have been cancelled

Final week, UK Music revealed the contribution of stay music to the UK financial system is about to drop in 2020 from an estimated £1.1bn to £200m, describing it as a "catastrophic" blow to the business.

In the meantime, the Ivors Academy of songwriters and composers stated it anticipated a loss of £25,000 per member over a six-month interval.

The lockdown also means songwriters will lose out on royalties gathered when their music is performed in outlets, cinemas, pubs, clubs and eating places. In 2019, that determine was £168.2m.

There's some excellent news, nevertheless. Royalties from music streaming rose 22.1% to £155m, while the money generated from music on video-on-demand providers like Amazon and Netflix elevated 47.5% to £17.7m.

Royalty revenues in 2019 (Supply: PRS For Music)
Supply 2019 2018 % Change
Public efficiency £222.2m £192m 15.7%
Online (inc streaming) £179.1m £145.7m 22.9%
Radio & TV £130.8m £127.7m 2.4%
Worldwide £278.7m £280.6m -Zero.7%
Complete £810.8m £746m 8.7%

Early figures recommend more individuals have taken out streaming subscriptions through the lockdown, which can present a small counterweight to the lack of reside music.

However many musicians have famous that the money they receive from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon just isn't enough to maintain a career.

Tom Gray from indie band Gomez lately shared a chart, originally compiled by The Trichordist, displaying how many streams artists require to make a dwelling in the UK.

On YouTube, a track must be performed 7,267 occasions to generate £eight.72 - or one hour of minimal wage. On Spotify, the figure was three,114 streams, and on Apple Music 1,615 streams.

That has led to a marketing campaign, #BrokenRecord, looking for a extra equitable system of distributing streaming cash.

Spearheaded by the Ivors Academy and the Musicians' Union, it's calling for a brand new system, where your subscription charge is distributed to the artists you truly take heed to - quite than going right into a central pot, where cash is cut up between the most-streamed songs on a proportion foundation.

"That is what the buyer needs," said Graham Davies of the Ivors Academy, who is looking for a government-backed assessment.

"They want their £9.99 a month to be paid to the artists, performers, songwriters and composers of the music they love."

In the meantime, the PRS Emergency Aid Fund has raised more than £2.1m to help members who've lost revenue because of Covid-19. Martin says 1,600 songwriters have utilized for assistance within the final week alone.

Another £5m fund, set up by the charity Assist Musicians, ran out of money inside every week after being launched in March.

Trade body UK Music has subsequently referred to as on the federal government to arrange a new taskforce to revive the music business as it navigates the pandemic.

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