Looking up? Encouraging UK/US music industry reports emerge28 July 2009
UK: PRS for Music has announced that total UK music industry revenues increased by 4.7% in 2008, writes David Davies. A new report issued by the songwriters, composers and music publishers organisation suggests that, despite the recession, the UK music industry remains "remarkably resilient".
Authored by PRS for Music’s chief economist, Will Page (pictured), Adding Up the Music Industry for 2008 reveals that UK music industry revenues totalled _3.63bn in 2008 – up 4.7% from _3.46bn in 2007. Among other findings, the report also reveals that record labels remain "the engine room of investment in new acts", and that filesharing is serving to undermind "the sustainability of this investment in developing the heritage acts of tomorrow".
"This research helps us understand what’s at stake and appreciate how the industry currently works," said PRS for Music acting CEO Jeremy Fabinyi. "That 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."
Meanwhile, across the pond, a new report issued by IPSOS indicates that new advertising-supported models of music distribution – of which the most high-profile current example is arguably Spotify – are helping to "stave off filesharing". While a majority of downloaders and ‘streamers’ not currently making use of conventional, legitimate download services may be unwilling to pay for music, it appears that many ‘fee-averse’ customers prefer to avoid filesharing when given the choice.
Karl Joyce, lead author of Ipsos’ TEMPO Digital Music Discovery & Purchase Process study, commented: "If it were somehow possible to eliminate peer-to-peer services altogether, the fee-based market would grow slightly, but the real winners would be the other free, albeit legitimate, ad-supported services. The fee-based digital music market has likely reached a state of maturity in terms of who is paying to download and stream. The goal now will be to expand recurring revenue streams and to attempt to increase the volume of content that is purchased among those already making digital music purchases. Meanwhile, the ad-supported models are proving to be an effective means of expanding the broader, legitimate market beyond the fee-based realm."