TODAY'S TOP STORY: UK record industry revenues grew by 12.8% in 2021 to £1.26 billion according to new figures from trade body BPI. The ongoing streaming boom was behind much of the growth, of course, although the vinyl revival also continues, plus CD sales, sync, broadcast and public performance all recovered to one degree or another, those being the recorded music revenues that were negatively impacted by COVID-19... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES UK record industry revenues grew 12.8% in 2021
LEGAL Ivors and MU hit out at children's content company seeking writer's share on music it commissions
Court declines to dismiss Goldenvoice's Coachella trademark lawsuit against Live Nation

DEALS Killer Mike signs to Reservoir
LIVE BUSINESS PRS For Music launches £10,000 prize for UK music venues
RELEASES Metronomy's Anna Prior releases new solo single
ONE LINERS Coldplay, Corey Taylor, Fred Ball, more
AND FINALLY... Spotify's $310 million FC Barcelona sponsorship deal confirmed - and it's great news for artists, says Spotify
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UK record industry revenues grew 12.8% in 2021
UK record industry revenues grew by 12.8% in 2021 to £1.26 billion according to new figures from trade body BPI. The ongoing streaming boom was behind much of the growth, of course, although the vinyl revival also continues, plus CD sales, sync, broadcast and public performance all recovered to one degree or another, those being the recorded music revenues that were negatively impacted by COVID-19.

In the streaming domain, the UK record industry's cut of subscription sales remains by far the biggest revenue generator. Premium streaming revenues were up 13% to £734.5 million. Though the monies generated by ad-funded streaming also went up last year. Ad-funded audio streams grew by 15.7% to £49.1 million, while income from ad-funded video platforms like YouTube were up 22.6% to £53.7 million.

In terms of physical products, the vinyl revival continues at quite a pace, with the revenues from vinyl sales in 2021 up 34% year-on-year to £115.9 million. Though CD revenues are still slightly ahead at £117.2 million.

CD sales, which have mainly been in decline for years, actually went up in 2021 by 1.4%. Although that's likely because in 2020 the drop in CD revenues was partly due to COVID shutting down the high street for some of the year. Total CD monies for 2021 were still down on 2019.

Talking of the COVID impact, in the main the record industry wasn't hugely hit by the pandemic in revenue terms, because premium streaming is by far the biggest revenue generator and it wasn't affected by any of the shutdowns. However, some revenue streams were affected. Alongside CDs, sync, broadcast and public performance - all three usually growth revenue streams - were all also down in 2020.

That was because studios and ad agencies put TV, movie and advertising projects on hold during the first lockdown; commercial radio stations were impacted by the COVID-caused wobble in the advertising sector; and many of the businesses that buy licences to play recorded music in public were shut at various times during the year.

All those revenues started to recover in 2021. Sync was up 47.6% to £30.8 million, an increase on 2019 as well as 2020. Monies from broadcast and public performance - which come through the collective licensing system - were up 10.8% to £117 million, although they are still to get back to 2019 levels, when income was £135.9 million.

If you're interested in such things, the approximate split of total monies by revenue stream (approximate mind, because any maths geeks out there might notice these stats don't add up to 100%) is as follows: streaming (66%), CD (9%), vinyl (9%), broadcast and public performance (9%), other digital (3%), sync (2%) and other physical (1%).

Of course, with the ongoing debate about how streaming monies are shared out across the music community - with many arguing labels in particular get too big a slice of the digital pie - it's obligatory for the record industry these days to insert a little gloom into other wise up beat stats.

The current tactic is to point out that, despite all the recent growth, the record industry at large is someway off getting back to the revenues it achieved in the good old days once everything is adjusted for inflation.

Last week, the Recording Industry Association Of America pointed out that - although, on one level, the US record industry's retail revenues are now exceeding what was made at the peak of the CD era in 1999, when adjusted for inflation current revenues are actually 37% down on that peak.

The BPI's insertion of gloom is a stat comparing 2021 revenues with what was made in 2006, some years into the 2000s slump in CD sales. By its maths, when adjusted for inflation, total record industry revenues in 2006 were £1.63 billion, ie £368 million higher than last year's monies.

Which is an interesting comparison to make. Though those who claim that labels keep too much of the digital pie would still argue that the profit margin is higher on digital compared to physical; and that catalogue accounts for a ever bigger portion of revenue in the streaming age, and many labels pay much lower artist royalties on older music.

Plus many labels sign new artists slightly later and/or also share in artist revenues beyond recordings, thus reducing the label's risk when investing in new talent.

You can make of all that whatever you wish. But the main takeaway here is that the key record industry trend of recent years continues - ie premium streaming is still very much in growth, and that is powering the ongoing growth of the wider recorded music market. Hurrah!

And now a quote from BPI boss Geoff Taylor: "The UK music market's return to growth has been driven by streaming - especially streaming subscriptions, which grew by 13% last year and made up 88% of streaming revenues and 58% of total revenues. After a tough few years we are also pleased to see growth across the sector, including in physical formats, sync, performance rights and beyond".

Alluding to the economics of streaming discussions and digital pie debate, he goes on: "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"

However, he adds, "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 fifteen 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".

Record industry trade bodies around the world have been publishing their 2021 stats in recent weeks. Yesterday the French organisation SNEP confirmed that recorded music revenues in that country were up 14.3% last year to 861 million euros. As in the UK, subscription streaming is powering much of that growth, with digital revenues at large up 13% to 506 million euros. Although physical was also up in France last year, by 21%, as were monies from broadcast, public performance and sync.

Next week the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry will publish its big report that brings together stats from across the world.


Ivors and MU hit out at children's content company seeking writer's share on music it commissions
The Ivors Academy and Musicians' Union have hit out at Moonbug Entertainment - a company that makes audio and video content for children, much of it mainly available via online channels - over the deals it has been seeking from the music-makers it works with. According to Ivors and the MU, Moonbug has been pressuring those music-makers to direct PRS to pay it any performing rights royalties due on the music they create for the media firm, including the so called 'writer's share'.

When media companies commission original music, the deal between the media company and the music-maker needs to set out who will own the copyrights in music that is created. These days in the UK, media firms will usually want to own most of the rights in the commissioned music. Which means that, not only can they do whatever they like with said music within the project it is being commissioned for, they can also use and exploit the music in other ways in the future.

However, the exception is the so called performing rights of the song copyright. If the music-maker is a PRS member - which they usually are - then the performing rights in the song will automatically go to the collecting society, which will then license those rights and collect any royalties due. This means that when a programme containing the music is broadcast or streamed, a PRS licence is required and additional royalties are collected.

Now, the commissioning media company can act as the publisher of the music and therefore claim what is known as the 'publisher's share' of any income generated by PRS, which is commonly 50%. Sometimes it's the media company itself that will need to secure the PRS licence when its programme is broadcast or streamed. However, of whatever money it hands over under that licence, it will then get 50% back as the publisher (minus any PRS fees).

But by convention PRS has to pay at least 50% of the money it generates by licensing the performing rights directly to the writer - that being the 'writer's share'. Under that system, whatever deal the music-maker agrees with the commissioning company and whatever upfront fees they are paid, the music-maker will still receive additional royalties via the collective licensing system whenever the programme containing their music is broadcast or streamed.

However, in recent years some media companies have been seeking to control all of the rights - or at least revenues - associated with the music they commission. This is often referred to as a complete 'buy-out'. This has proven controversial within the music community, with various campaigns launched to oppose this practice, by Ivors and MU in the UK, as well as the Your Music Your Future initiative, which began in the US and then expanded via a partnership with CISAC.

Quite how a full buy out is achieved depends on the specifics of copyright law and collecting society rules in any one country. It is easiest to achieve in the US. In the UK, one way to achieve it is to allow the performing rights to go to PRS, as normal, but then have the writer direct the collecting society to pay the writer's share of any income to the media company, rather than the writer. And that's what Moonbug has seemingly been pressuring the music-makers it works with to do.

PRS does have a system in place whereby a writer can submit a 'letter of direction' instructing the society to pay their writer's share from a specific work to another entity. However, PRS insists, that system is meant to be used in a small number of very specific circumstances, and not so that media companies can in essence achieve a full buyout when commissioning original music for their programmes.

In a statement on Twitter earlier this week the society said: "There are many valid reasons for a member to request PRS direct their royalties to an alternative source. PRS retains full discretion on whether to agree such a request and on what terms, although will generally not seek to a block a request supported by all the relevant declarations, including confirmation independent legal advice has been obtained".

But, it went on, "for the avoidance of doubt PRS has no mechanism to directly facilitate a request for the reassignment of a member's royalties to a production company, our processes are solely aimed at facilitating redirection requests from members. We will be urgently contacting the children's production company notified to us last week to reinforce the point that they aren't authorised by PRS to encourage or action any re-assignment of royalties".

Hitting out at Moonbug over its efforts to grab the writer's share of performing rights royalties due on the music it commissions, Ivors Academy Chair Tom Gray says: "This underhand and coercive behaviour by Moonbug Entertainment must stop immediately. It is the latest coercive practice designed to undermine both the value of composers and the collective rights management system. No composer should agree to these terms and no music publisher should support this practice".

Gray also notes the ongoing work instigated by the UK government in response to Parliament's Economics Of Streaming inquiry, which - among other things - is looking at the deals agreed between music-makers and their business partners, and the possibility of new copyright laws that would impact on those deals.

"As the government considers codes of practice and the need for contract adjustment", he goes on, "The Ivors Academy will not sit idly by and watch this kind of behaviour continue. We are looking to start publicly naming companies who we discover are abusing their position of power over writers. We ask writers to please notify us and publishers to please make certain none of their clients are using any such methods".

The MU's General Secretary Elect Naomi Pohl also criticised Moonbug's tactics, saying: "This is a coercive practice, the commissioner is instigating the assignment of proceeds from the writer's share, which is intended to ensure creators are properly rewarded for their work not to provide an additional revenue stream for producers".

"We will fight back against these practices and empower writers to resist such detrimental deals", she adds. "Getting work should not be contingent on giving up your royalties. This is the latest in a long line of royalty-grabs and shows what some companies will get away with if they're given half the chance. The imbalance of power in commissioning relationship is too often exploited and we will defend the writer's right to retain their royalties".


Court declines to dismiss Goldenvoice's Coachella trademark lawsuit against Live Nation
A judge in California has declined to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Live Nation and its Ticketmaster business by the Goldenvoice subsidiary of its main rival AEG in relation to it selling tickets to a music event with Coachella in its name. A music event in the Californian city of Coachella, mind. But not in any way affiliated with the Goldenvoice-owned Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival.

This dispute all relates to a music event that took place in Coachella as part of the 2021/22 New Year festivities. That event was staged at a venue called Coachella Crossroads and was originally billed as Coachella Day One 22, with tickets being sold via Live Nation's Ticketmaster. Goldenvoice owns various Coachella trademarks linked to its festival and argued that the New Years event was infringing those trademarks.

However, both the Coachella Crossroads venue and the Coachella Day One 22 event are run by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, with the whole thing taking place alongside the Spotlight 29 Casino that the Native American tribe owns. It would be more logical to take action against the tribe than the ticketing company they use, but the leadership of that tribe are arguably shielded from such legal action due to so called sovereign immunity. Which is why Goldenvoice sued Live Nation.

As part of its legal action, Goldenvoice sought and got an injunction prohibiting Ticketmaster from listing any event that uses the Coachella brand. Although, by the time that injunction was issued, the Live Nation ticketing site had already started referring to the New Years event as simply Day One 22. And ultimately the Coachella Crossroads venue itself also changed the name of the event to 'Day One 22 NYE at Coachella Crossroads'.

However, despite the New Years event being rebranded, Goldenvoice's claim of contributory trademark infringement against Live Nation - relating to its original listing of the event as Coachella Day One 22 - continues to go through the motions. For its part, Live Nation has been trying to have the case dismissed mainly on the basis that Goldenvoice's lawsuit does not actively involve an "indispensable party" to the dispute, that being the Twenty-Nine Palms tribe.

In its motion to have the case dismissed, Live Nation argued that this legal action was really a dispute between the AEG company and the Twenty-Nine Palms tribe over "the name of its ancestral land", and Goldenvoice suing Live Nation was a "transparent attempt to end-run the protections afforded to the tribe by longstanding federal law".

In its ruling on Live Nation's motion for dismissal, the court hearing the case noted that Live Nation had identified five ways in which Twenty-Nine Palms has an interest in this case, the argument being that - by not having the tribe actually involved in the legal action - those interests were threatened.

Those five interests included the tribe's "authorised use of the Coachella Crossroads mark pursuant to an oral contract with plaintiffs' parent company AEG" and "the benefit of its bargain with defendant under an agreement wherein Ticketmaster is the 'exclusive ticket seller for events held by Twenty-Nine Palms at Coachella Crossroads for five years'".

On top of that, there's the tribe's "sovereignty, its ownership rights to the Coachella Crossroads mark, and an 'historical and cultural interest in referring to its property as Coachella'".

However, the court considered each of those interests in turn, and in every case concluded that the interests of Twenty-Nine Palms would not be hampered or impaired by this dispute between Goldenvoice and Live Nation proceeding without them being an actual party to the lawsuit. As a result, Live Nation's motion for dismissal was declined.


Killer Mike signs to Reservoir
Reservoir has signed a worldwide publishing deal with rapper and one half of Run The Jewels, Killer Mike. The agreement covers his full catalogue and future works.

"A great publisher is a major key to success, and I'm excited to embark on this phase of my career with the dynamic team at Reservoir", says Mike.

Reservoir Executive Vice President Of A&R & Catalogue Development, Faith Newman, adds: "Killer Mike has been a fixture of hip hop for decades now, and both his past successes and upcoming music continue to push boundaries and address deeply meaningful topics. Artists and visionaries of his calibre do not come around often, and we are grateful to be the publishing home for such a trailblazing creator".

Run The Jewels are set to play the Reading and Leeds festivals in August, and before that have UK headline dates scheduled for June. Here are those dates:

2 Jun: London, Brixton Academy
4 Jun: Glasgow, Barrowland
5 Jun: Glasgow, Barrowland
6 Jun: Manchester: Victoria Warehouse
7 Jun: Birmingham Academy


PRS For Music launches £10,000 prize for UK music venues
UK collecting society PRS For Music has launched a new competition, which will see six music venues around the country each win £10,000 to put towards improving facilities.

The Back To Live Music Venue Prize launches today, and is looking to support venues that are at the heart of their local communities as they seek to bounce back following many months of closure due to the pandemic.

"Back To Live Music Venue Prize will shine a light on independent music venues across the UK", says PRS For Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin. "Venues play such an important part in the music industry ecosystem, with many featuring live performances by emerging talented songwriters and composers".

"We look forward to music creators once again taking the stage, and revelling in the joy that live music brings with it. Last year, we launched our 'On With The Show' campaign to support our members returning to performing live, this initiative builds on that to ensure we can enjoy that live music".

Applicants must detail how the money would be spent and what it would mean to their business to win. The six winners will be chosen by a judging panel made up for representatives of the music, arts and hospitality sectors.

You can find more information on how to enter here.


CMU Insights: Streaming Business Explained Webinars
Our latest series of live CMU webinars is now underway with three one-hour sessions over three weeks that together provide an overview of the digital music market today - the key services and revenue streams, how the licensing deals work, and the big debate around how streaming income is shared out across the music community.

If you book a place on the series today at the special rate of £60 - a 33% saving! - you can access a recording of yesterday's session and then login live to the upcoming sessions on 22 Mar and 29 Mar (or, indeed, access post-event recordings of those too).

The series includes three sessions as follows...

Recording available
Streaming accounted for 62.1% of recorded music revenues in 2020 and the market continues to grow - but it is also evolving as new services and new kinds of services become increasingly important revenue generators. Find out more about the digital music market today and in the future.

Tuesday 22 Mar 2022 | 2.30pm

The streaming business is complex in terms of how services are licensed, and how artists and songwriters get paid. Get to grips with it all via our concise user-friendly guide to digital licensing and streaming royalties - explained in full in just ten steps.

Tuesday 29 Mar 2022 | 2.30pm
Streaming is a revenue share game, with digital dollars shared out each month between artists, songwriters, labels and publishers. We explain how the money is currently split up and talk through why some people in the industry believe a different approach is needed.

Click here for more info and to book a place.

Metronomy's Anna Prior releases new solo single
Metronomy drummer Anna Prior has released her second solo single, 'Easier Alone', following last year's 'Thank You For Nothing'. As with that earlier track, Prior collaborated with Jules Rosset on the new song.

"'Easier Alone' is a song about letting good things go", she says. "It's about all those healthy friendships, relationships, situationships that just become stifled under the weight of the expectation we place on ourselves. The relationships that you know would be nourishing and supportive, if only you could let someone love you without your own limits".

"But it's true though, most things are easier on your own", she continues. "Except moving house, tug o war and writing a song, at least in my case. I loved working with Jules Rosset again on this track - he helped me steer the music in a much more interesting direction - the song was called 'Piano Thing' for months before that - and most importantly, always responded to my maniacally composed emails of ideas within five minutes of me sending them - a perfect match for the over thinker!"

The single is released on Prior's new record label Beat Palace, to which she has also signed Julia-Sophie, who released new EP 'It Feels Like Thunder' last week.

Listen to 'Easier Alone' here.



Concord Music Publishing has signed songwriter and producer Fred Ball to a worldwide publishing agreement. "I'm delighted to be part of Concord's roster", he says. "It's a company with a genuine love for music. We instantly clicked and I'm really excited about working with them".



Warner Music's Atlantic Records in the US has promoted Aton Ben-Horin to EVP Global A&R. His Plush Music publishing company has also launched a new partnership with the major's publishing division Warner Chappell. "Aton is one of the most gifted and inspired A&R people in our business", says Atlantic CEO Craig Kallman. "He can not only hear a hit, he knows how to make a hit - pulling all the elements together that turn a song into a smash".

Ray Alba and Nathan Sheppard have both been named SVP Marketing at Universal Music's Capitol Records in the US. Alba joins from Epic Records, while Sheppard comes to the label from YouTube Music. "Ray and Nathan both share the artists-first ethos that lies at the very heart of the new CMG, and they bring a wealth of perspective and experience to their new positions", says recently appointed Capitol Music Group President Arjun Pulijal.

Utopia Music has hired Jonathan Abon as VP Product, Distribution Services and Jordan Gremli as VP Product, Creator Services. "Utopia's uniqueness stems from its music and tech DNA and our ability to deliver innovative solutions at scale", says Nicholas Goubert, Chief Product Officer, "Jonathan and Jordan are highly experienced in their respective fields and their blended experience will enhance our ability to deliver cutting-edge products for our customers, and further position Utopia as the number one growth partner for the entire music industry".



The UK's Featured Artists Coalition has announced the nine recipients of grants from its Step Up Fund backed by Amazon Music. Daniel Casimir, Friedberg, Lvra, Joel Culpepper, Elkka, Nineteen97, Cherise, Deyah and Vukovi each receive financial support of up to £8000. "We are happy to support these nine amazingly talented artists, as they step up to the next level of their career", says FAC CEO David Martin. "The high number and high quality of applications clearly shows that there is a big need for financial support for artists".



Coldplay have released the video for 'People Of The Pride', from their 'Music Of The Spheres' album. The band's big old eco-friendly tour starts this Friday in Costa Rica.

Whipped Cream is back again with new single 'Cry'.

Wormrot have announced that they will release new album, 'Hiss', on 8 Jul. From it, this is new single 'Behind Closed Doors'.



Corey Taylor has announced that he will play his first UK solo shows this autumn, kicking off at the London Palladium on 17 Oct. Tickets go on general sale this Friday.

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Spotify's $310 million FC Barcelona sponsorship deal confirmed - and it's great news for artists, says Spotify
Spotify has confirmed its big old sponsorship deal with the Barcelona football team which will reportedly see the streaming firm hand over $310 million in cash over four years - slightly more than the original price-tag that was rumoured last month.

But, presumably aware that the mega-bucks sponsorship deal will be seized on by its critics in the music community who argue that the streaming company continues to underpay artists and songwriters, Spotify was keen to stress yesterday that music-makers will be key beneficiaries of its new football partnership. And this deal definitely has nothing to do with Spotify boss Daniel Ek's known ambition to be somehow involved in the super fun business of kicking balls.

"The vision for the partnership is to create a new platform to help artists interact with Barcelona's global community of fans", Spotify's Chief Freemium Business Officer Alex Norström insisted yesterday. "It's about connecting fans with artists of every kind - players and artists, music and sports. Barcelona fans and audio lovers on Spotify will come together to form a massive, globally connected community bridging the worlds of music and football".

"As we look to grow the Spotify brand worldwide", he went on, "there are few partners that have this sort of scale and global reach. Being able to connect music and football fans from Barcelona to Mumbai, Jakarta to Rio De Janeiro, is really a unique opportunity".

As part of the sponsorship deal, Spotify will get branding on the shirts worn by both the male and female FC Barcelona teams, as well as naming rights over the club's stadium Camp Nou - or Spotify Camp Nou, if you prefer. And, Spotify also added yesterday, it will work together with FC Barcelona "to create opportunities for the iconic shirt to be a space that celebrates artists from across the world". Similar artist promo will appear on the digital screens within Camp Nou. Lovely stuff.

"More fans engaging with our platform means more opportunities for creators to live off of their art", Norström continued. "FC Barcelona's massive global fanbase will help fuel that growth. And for fans - both music and Barça fans - we'll be creating more interactive and exciting experiences to connect with the artists they love".

What a time to be alive! And, of course, FC Barcelona, will get lots more exposure on the back of the partnership too. For example, when artists are moaning about Spotify on social media, or on stage, or at political events, or as they announce they are pulling their music from the platform, they will inevitably now bring up the fact Spotify can afford to hand over $310 million to a football team.

Plus, FC Barcelona can almost certainly be guaranteed a mention in the hearings before the Copyright Royalty Board in the US as the streaming services argue for a lower song royalty rate under the American compulsory licence. So, that's international exposure! Good times.

The sponsorship deal is still technically to be approved by FC Barcelona's Extraordinary Delegate Members Assembly, though that approval is generally seen as a given.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column. (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights consultancy unit and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited. (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU Insights and CMU:DIY. or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
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