The British music industry grew by almost 5% last year as the popularity of live acts offset the decline in recorded music. PRS for Music (previously the Performing Rights Society), which collects royalty payments and distributes them to artists and composers, said the size of the UK music industry increased by 4.7% to £3.6 billion in 2008, reports the London Evening Standard.
The recorded music sector shrank by 6% last year under pressure from piracy and the sharing of digital music, according to Will Page, chief economist at PRS for Music. But the value of the live music sector jumped 13% to an estimated £1.39 billion.
“Make no mistake, the live music industry grew in 2008 — more events, more bands, more tickets and, importantly, higher ticket prices,” said Page. He added that the rise was almost entirely down to rock and pop veterans such as Elton John, the Rolling Stones and the Police packing out arenas.Page said the fall of only 6% in retail sales was “actually quite an achievement” given the economic slowdown and collapse of High Street names such as Zavvi and Woolworths. Page said evidence was emerging that UK acts are selling well internationally. One in 10 albums sold in the US last year was by a British act while the UK accounted for 9.8% of single track downloads.
This was in part due to Coldplay, whose album Viva La Vida sold 2.1 million copies, and Leona Lewis, who topped the 2008 download and airplay charts in America.
Coldplay at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine, CA (19th July 2009)
Pictures by OC Register