UK recorded music continues to hit a high note, with revenue up 12.8 per cent to £1.26bn following 2020’s pandemic slump.
According to data from the BPI, the association of independent and major record labels, the boost marked the sector’s seventh consecutive year of revenue growth.
Whilst streaming was a key driver of this boost, up 13.7 per cent to £837.2m, physical formats on CD and vinyl continue to grow at steady rates across the industry.
Vinyl continues to make a revival, up 34 per cent on the year, with more and more young people turning to the turntables.
However, the gold star arguably goes to Compact Disc, which, off the back of superstar releases by ABBA, Adele, Dave and Ed Sheeran, contributed £117.2m in revenue – a 1.4 per cent rise on the year and the first increase since 2017.
Overall, physical sales were up 14.6 per cent to £241m, which coincided with an increase in the number of indie record shops, recently reported by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), which grew went from 390 in 2020 to 407 in 2021.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said: “After a tough few years we are also pleased to see growth across the sector, including in physical formats, sync, performance rights and beyond. This growth yields important benefits for the broader music community, including greater remuneration to a wider base of artists and additional investment by labels in new talent.”
“It is important to remember that even today we still have yet to fully recover from years of decline and that, in real terms, we remain a much smaller industry than 15 years ago. We urge the music community to join together to continue growing the market, for example by helping British music secure the largest possible share of streaming growth abroad. That will be an effective way to maximise the success of British music creators and the ecosystem that supports them.”
Just yesterday, UK Music chief Jamie Njoku-Goodwin wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, urging him to reconsider the VAT rise, warning that incoming rise will batter an already beaten industry.
Calling on Sunak to abandon a large increase on concert and live event tickets due to come into force on 1 April, he wrote: “The planned hike in VAT could not come at a worse time for millions of music fans and the live music industry, which was shut down for almost two years due to the pandemic.
“We saw during those grim periods of lockdown just how important music was to people’s mental health and how it helped us get through some really tough times.
“Pushing up VAT to 20 per cent would be hugely damaging for the music industry and leave music fans facing a cost of gigging crisis. The rise would come at a time when we are rebuilding post-COVID-19, with hundreds of concerts planned over the next few months.
“We would urge the Chancellor to give people who already face rising prices and grim headlines every day a little lift by ditching the ticket tax and abandoning the VAT hike.
“Dumping the planned VAT hike would help keep ticket prices down for fans and help music businesses pay down debts they built up during the pandemic, generate thousands of new jobs and nurture new talent.
“It would help the music industry continue to recover and rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic, which wiped out around one in three jobs in our sector.”
Instead, UK Music, which represents the collective interests of the production side of UK’s commercial music industry, suggested a six-point plan, including extending the current 50 per cent discount on business rates on music venues, and more funding to help British performers touring the EU.