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UK record industry saw 10.6% growth last year, woo!

By | Published on Wednesday 11 April 2018


UK record industry trade group BPI has published its annual stats pack full of figures relating to recorded music revenues in 2017. And hey, who’d have thought it, but things were peachy – with revenues up, up, up thanks to that streaming boom. But, you know, YouTube, value gap, safe harbour, here’s what you could have won.

“The changes labels have made to their business models and their investment in new talent have borne fruit with rapid revenue growth in 2017”, states BPI boss Geoff Taylor. “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”.

But there is always a ‘but’. Just sitting there in the corner ready to pounce. But “while these are reasons for optimism”, says Taylor, “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”.

British record company trade income rose by 10.6% last year to £839.4 million, which “represents the fastest rate of growth since the height of Britpop in 1995”. Ah, 1995. Do you remember 1995? No? Don’t worry. It was shit. Nothing good happened in 1995. At all. Apart from all that record industry growth I suppose.

We’re here to talk about 2017 though. Stop talking about 1995. We’re not interested in 1995. Nothing good happened in 1995. I mean streaming revenues grew by 41% in 2017, with subscription service income jumping by 45% to £346.9 million. And do you now how much streaming revenue growth there was in 1995? None. See. Not so good after all.

“With the transition period following Brexit now agreed, it is vital that British musicians can tour freely in the EU once we leave”, added Taylor, citing another challenge faced by the growing British record industry. Ah, yeah, Brexit. I take it back, 1995 was much better than 2017. It was a magical moment of glory and hope. Let’s all pretend it’s 1995 again.