UK record label income sees ‘fastest growth since Britpop’

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UK record label income in 2017 experienced the ‘fastest growth since Britpop’ according to the new annual yearbook from record labels association, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

All About The Music 2018 reports that UK record company income – including sales and streams across all music formats as well as sync earnings – rose by 10.6 percent in 2017 to £839.4 million.

The increase – driven by a 45 percent rise in subscriptions to streaming services, as well as the success of British artists including Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa – marks the fastest rate of label growth since Britpop’s heyday in 1995, when revenues rose by 10.7 percent.

It follows the BPI’s previous report that the UK music industry experienced a historic surge in 2017, with consumption of music across all formats rising by its fastest rate this millennium.

In 2017, revenue from streaming rose by 41.3 percent while sales of physical formats grew, led by the vinyl revival which saw over four million LPs purchased – marking a decade of consecutive growth to levels not seen since 1991.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive at BPI and BRIT Awards, said: ‘The changes labels have made to their business models and their investment in new talent have borne fruit with rapid revenue growth in 2017.

‘We are likely to see a continuing rise in 2018, with increasing awareness among consumers about the benefits of music streaming, and new developments that are likely to encourage the uptake of subscriptions, such as the launch of YouTube’s premium music service and the growing popularity of smart speakers in the home.

Addressing the challenges faced by the industry, he added: ‘Music still has a long way to go to recover fully and achieve long-term sustainable growth. In particular, government action is needed to remedy the continuing “value gap”, so that all digital platforms pay fairly for their use of music, and with the transition period following Brexit now agreed, it is vital that British musicians can tour freely in the EU once we leave.

‘In addition, we urge government to seize the opportunity of its Digital Charter to forge an online environment that is safe for consumers, where illegal sites cannot flourish, and to look at new incentives for investment so that the UK is the best place in the world to invest in creating music.

‘These measures are essential given the increasing competition the UK faces in a more global streaming market.’

All About The Music 2018 is out now and is free to all BPI members.

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