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Retired rockers and iPods grow music market 

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Tuesday PRS for Music27th January 2009


Retired rockers and iPods grow music market
73% of the population listen to more music than five years ago

Seven out of 10 people listen to more music now than they did five years ago, with the over 60s age group spending 10% more on music than people aged under 30, according to research conducted by PRS for Music (previously known as the Performing Right Society).

PRS for Music, the organisation responsible for collecting royalties, which reported record revenues of £600m last year for its song writing, composing and music publishing members, believes that the increase is due to a combination of factors:

  • Music embraced by the over 60s - between 2000-2007, the average spending for the over 60s age group grew by 3.35% (Meanwhile for the 20-29 age group average spending on music fell by 0.51% and for the 12-19 age group it fell by 6.64%)
  • Dramatic price drop of MP3 players – 700% drop like for like
  • Huge increase in storage capacity of MP3 players.

Key results:

  • Music provides ‘Life support’: 60% of respondents said they could not live without their MP3 player.
  • Music breaks commuting monotony: 80% of respondents listen to music whilst commuting, 60% whilst on holiday and 54% whilst exercising. 
  • MP3s hold all your favourite things: 99% of respondents have music on their MP3 player, 28% podcasts, 26% audio books, 23% video and 21% store photos.
  • Music survives recession: 91% of respondents claimed they were cutting back on clothes and 87% on the pub, compared to just 60% on music. 
  • Boyfriends and girlfriends lose out: 88% of respondents will cut expenditure on their partners during the recession compared to just 60% on their own music expenditure. 
  • iPod is most popular: 47% of respondents who listened to music on the go, did so with an iPod.

Steve Porter, chief executive, PRS for Music, commented on the results: ‘Whether it keeps you entertained on your journey to work or keeps you motivated during your gym workout, music plays a valuable part in our lives everyday. 

‘With advances in technology over the years and the innovation of the iPod, music is more accessible to people of all ages. This is great news for our 60,000 members at PRS for Music who create music for us to enjoy and receive royalties when their music is played, performed or broadcast. 

‘The importance of music in people’s lives is clearly demonstrated in the research which revealed that the respondents would choose to cut spending on their partners before their music!’



For more information, get in touch:

Barney Hooper, PRS for Music   
020 7306 4548


The bit about us:
PRS for Music exists to help businesses and community users get access to some of the world’s best loved songs, while making sure that songwriters, composers and publishers are rightfully rewarded whenever their musical works are played, performed or reproduced. PRS for Music provides the permissions needed to use music for any product or space, from a TV programme or YouTube video, to the workplace radio and every possibility in between. Through effective, fair and transparent licensing we ensure that creators can keep on creating by delivering vital income to all our 60,000 membership. PRS for Music is proud to keep one of the UK’s most vibrant creative industries working.

Website: www.prsformusic.com  

About the survey: The results are part of the PRS for Music 2009 survey, which looked into the current trends in music listenership. The survey on MP3 listenership looked at how the ‘iPod phenomena’ has shaped our music listening habits. There were 1,109 participants in the survey.


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E: press@prsformusic.com

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Emma Anderson

Kimberly Tan

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