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UK music industry growing, but live sector may be ‘cooling’

PRS for Music economists Will Page, pictured, and Chris Carey have collated data relating to consumer spending on CDs, downloads and live music, along with B2B revenues from the licensing of music.

A new report from PRS for Music reveals that UK music industry revenues increased by 4.7% in 2009 to a total of £3.9bn. As well as indicating the continued robust state of the live performance sector, Adding Up the UK Music Industry also points to a levelling-off of the five-year sustained decline in recorded sales thanks to a growth in licensed digital music services.

The report also documents the increasing levels of international licensing revenue, with healthy demand from the US, France, Germany, Japan, Holland and Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, live music income continued to grow, albeit at a slower rate than in the previous year (9.4% in 2009 vs 13% in 2008).

Will Page (pictured), chief economist at PRS for Music, said: “Overall 2009 has bucked downward trends at home and abroad. Strong growth in international licensing revenues, a robust live music industry and signs of stabilisation in the recorded sector have helped produce these impressive results. Underpinning this is a drive by the industry to develop new sources of revenue from the online market.

“The question for 2010 is will it last? With signs that the live industry may already be cooling, the challenge for all of the UK music industry players is to continue to work together to build upon what has been a unexpected and much welcome UK media success story of 2009.”

Robert Ashcroft, chief executive at PRS for Music, added: “The Adding Up The UK Music Industry report is becoming a key resource for understanding the business. The more we understand the complexities of the industry and how revenues and rights are split, the better placed we all are to secure and grow this vital component of UK PLC.

“In a changing economic climate it is heartening that the music industry as a whole is continuing to adapt and evolve to compete on a world stage.”

The live sector throughout Europe is the subject of a detailed survey in Pro Sound News Europe’s special annual publication, PSNLive, the latest edition of which can be read in full here: