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New report reveals UK Music Industry revenues totalled 3.6bn in 2008 

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Monday 20th July 2009
For Immediate Release

New report reveals UK Music Industry revenues in 2008

PRS for Music, the organisation representing songwriters, composers and music publishers, today published new research showing that UK music industry revenues totalled £3.63bn in 2008, up 4.7% from 2007’s £3.46bn.

The report by PRS for Music’s Chief Economist Will Page, titled ‘Adding up the Music Industry for 2008’, shows the industry’s diverse mix of revenues is proving remarkably resilient in the face of the ongoing recession.


Highlights of the Adding up the Music Industry for 2008 report include:

  • The UK Music Industry was worth £3.6bn in 2008, up 4.7% on 2007.  Combined business to consumer revenues (live industry and recorded music retail) grew 3%, making up 75% of total industry value;
  • More complex business to business revenues (from collective and direct licensing, advertising, sponsorship) grew by 10%, reaching £925 million and contributing 25% of total industry value;
  • UK artists and songwriters are both punching above their weight overseas. PRS for Music is one of only three net exporters of repertoire whilst 1 in 10 artist albums sold in the USA last year was by a UK act.
  • Reading beneath the top line, whilst recorded is down and live is up, labels are the engine room of investment in new acts and P2P undermines the sustainability of this investment in developing the heritage acts of tomorrow. 
  • This report highlights the importance of diversification, or finding new places and new ways to generate revenues. By understanding the ecosystem, it enables more cooperation to grow the market going forward.

Will Page, Chief Economist at PRS for Music said:

“The aim of this report was to not only add up the revenues generated by the UK music industry, but also to show how it all hangs together. In particular, this helps us have a better understanding of business to business revenues, which now make up a quarter of the total. Reading beneath the top line, recorded is down and live is up – reflecting the success of so-called “heritage” acts like the Police and Neil Young on the road. Historically record companies have been the primary investor in new acts so the question the industry should ask is this: who will invest in developing the “heritage” acts of tomorrow?”

Jeremy Fabinyi, Acting CEO PRS for Music commented: 

“This research helps us understand what’s at stake and appreciate how the industry currently works. That not only helps our industry work together to overcome some of the common hurdles we currently face, but also increase cooperation across all segments to grow the overall market.
“And while the economic outlook for 2009 remains challenging, PRS for Music is confident that UK musical talent will continue to succeed, both at home and abroad.”

The report is available at: www.prsformusic.com/economics





For more information please contact:


PRS for Music:
Barney Hooper, Head of PR

02073064548 / 07979 757052

Catherine George, Media Relations
02073064229 / 07535 700965


Brunswick PR:
Tom Batchelor, Craig Breheny
+44 (0) 20 7404 5959


Notes to editors:

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 online 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.

For more information, please go to:


Press contacts

PRS for Music
2 Pancras Square
T: +44 (0)20 3741 4777
E: press@prsformusic.com

Press Office Staff:
Emma Anderson

Kimberly Tan

Please note these contacts are for press enquiries only. If you have a general enquiry call the Switchboard on

020 7580 5544 

or visit Contact Us to find the number you need.

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