Thursday 21 March 2019 12:01 am

Record label income grows amid rise in streaming subscriptions

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UK recorded music revenues rose more than three per cent last year as the popularity of streaming services shows no signs of slowing.

New figures from trade body BPI revealed record label revenues hit £865.5m in 2018, the highest level in almost a decade.

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The rising income marks the third year of consecutive growth, with subscriptions to streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Deezer continuing to surge.

Revenues from these subscriptions have risen 220 per cent since 2015 and now represent 60 per cent of total income for the industry.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “The recorded music industry in the UK is showing consistent growth, driven by investment in new talent, innovative global marketing, and offering music fans outstanding choice, convenience and value.”

But Taylor warned there is still more work to be done to fix the so-called value gap and ensure revenues are returned to those who create and produce music.

While apps such as Spotify have revolutionised the way people listen to music, income was also boosted by the resurgence in traditional vinyl sales, which grew 3.7 per cent last year.

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But overall physical sales dropped 22.5 per cent, as consumers continue to shun CDs in favour of online streaming.

The declining popularity in physical formats has been felt by traditional retailers such as HMV, which fell into administration last year. Spotify posted revenues of €1.5bn (£1.3bn) in the fourth quarter alone.