Mar 1, 2024 5 min read

Setlist Podcast: UK music revenues are back to their CD peak (sort of)

Music retail revenues are now higher than their 2001 peak (just don't adjust for inflation), and the brewing legal battle between Kanye West and the Donna Summer estate

Setlist Podcast: UK music revenues are back to their CD peak (sort of)

On this week's show we discuss the news that UK music retail revenues are back to where they were at the peak of the CD era in 2001. So long as you imagine that no time has passed in between. Plus, the brewing legal battle of Kanye West’s “shameless” interpolation of a Donna Summer track.

01: UK music revenues (00:06:47)
02: News in brief (00:15:20)
03: Kanye West (00:20:38)
(Timings may be slightly different due to adverts)


UK music retail revenues reach record high, according to ERA stats
UK music retail revenues are out-performing the 2001 peak of the CD era, with ERA reporting that music retailers and streaming services generated £2223 million in revenues in the twelve months leading up to last week. Though there is still some way to go if you adjust 2001’s revenues for inflation
Donna Summer estate sues Kanye West over “shameless” uncleared sample
Kanye West has been sued over an uncleared sample on his album with Ty Dolla $ign. The Donna Summer estate says that it declined a request to interpolate ‘I Feel Love’ into a ‘Vultures 1’ track, concerned about associating Summer with the controversial rapper, but West went ahead and did it anyway


€111 million in TikTok revenue is nothing when you’re Lucian Grainge - but, he says, “my phone is always open” if Shou Zi Chew wants to be friends again
The Lucian-Shou bromance is over, and Lucian would like Shou to know that he really doesn’t care and they were never really friends anyway. So much so that he spent an hour telling everyone just how much he doesn’t care. Really. Doesn’t care. Not at all.
Warner boss teases superfan app that will be “a cross-platform solution”
Yesterday the Web Summit in Qatar featured a conversation between Warner Music CEO Robert Kynl and Warner-signed artist Nora Fatehi, in which the major label boss discussed the superfan opportunity and the benefit, for artists, of working with big music companies
Spotify vs Apple name-calling kicks off again after EU mega-fine rumours
Apple issued a statement last week following rumours it is facing a €500 million fine as a result of an EU investigation prompted by a complaint made by Spotify. It claims that Spotify just wants a free ride, but Spotify issued its own statement arguing it is actually seeking a level playing field
UK Music again calls for VAT cut on tickets ahead of budget statement
UK Music has again called for a cut to the VAT rate on tickets to help support a struggling live sector, noting that the VAT charged on tickets in the UK is nearly double the average across Europe. This comes ahead of UK Chancellor Of The Exchequer Jeremy Hunt’s latest budget statement next month
And Finally! Ed Sheeran has let British music down, and now everyone only likes K-pop
You know who’s popular? Taylor Swift. The IFPI confirmed it this week with its annual Global Recording Artist Of The Year list. Ed Sheeran’s dropped out of the top ten though, as have BTS, although only one of them has a decent excuse. This and a selection of this week’s funniest music news awaits…
⏩ One Liners: Miley Cyrus, Mavin Global, Bear McCreary + more
UMG’s Mavin Global deal; TEG hires Simon Cahill; stars record new music for BBC drama; BBC classical schedule; mentoring for PRS members; Miley Cyrus tops IFPI singles list; Journey and Anohni shows; new music from Bear McCreary, Joe Goddard, Sega Bodega, RiTchie, Still Corners and HighSchool
⏩ One Liners: Kate Bush, Seventeen, Spotify + more
Chelsea Songs launch; Bella Figura, DiMA, APRA AMCOS appointments; Spotify is great, says Ek; Kate Bush <3 RSD; Key Production expands; sustainable disabled access; Black music exhibition; BRIT and IFPI awards; new music from Nick Cave, Cat Burns, Rachel Chinouriri, Knocked Loose, Les Savy Fav, more


Trademark dispute over Earth, Wind & Fire tribute shows back in court
A company owned by the family of Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White wants summary judgement in its trademark legal battle with the promoters of tribute shows that involve musicians who previously performed with the band. It’s alleged that the marketing of the shows implies official status
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