Music can help pubs beat the recession

Featuring music boosts takings by 44%. PRS for Music launches new ‘Music Makeover’ Campaign.

PRS for Music, the organisation that collects royalties for songwriters and composers, today released research into the positive impact of featured music, both live and recorded, on sales in pubs.

The research, conducted with pub-data specialists CGA, is released as PRS for Music launches its ‘Music Makeover’ campaign in partnership with the Musicians’ Union and the British Beer and Pub Association. The campaign aims to keep music and pubs at the heart of community life – helping pubs understand how to introduce music and maximise the business benefits.

Highlights of the research include:

  • Pubs with featured music take on average 44% more money than pubs without, rising to 60% on weekends (Fri/Sat)
  • Music pubs have higher takings every day of the week
  • 80% of pub managers said they felt music would help them survive the recession 
  • Live music is the greatest draw: 24% of publicans reported increases in takings of 25%-50% on nights when they have music (compared to other nights); and 71% reporting an increase of 10-25%. 
  • Pubs with featured music are 3 times more likely to stay open

Music Makeover Campaign

In recognition of the central role played by pubs in promoting live music and to demonstrate the way that music can help pubs grow and maintain their business, PRS for Music have launched a competition to find two local pubs in need of a ‘Music Makeover’.

PRS for Music will be spending up to £5000 on each pub, as well as giving them all the advice they need, including expert help from the Musicians’ Union and successful music pubs around the country.  45,000 pubs nationwide will be sent advice packs from PRS for Music in 2010 with an invite to follow the story of the Music Makeover pubs online.

Pubs will be selected by a judging panel including UK Music CEO Feargal Sharkey. 


Music helps businesses grow and keeps customers coming back, even in a downturn. We want to make sure the pub industry is getting all the benefit it can from using music, because grassroots venues like pubs and clubs are vital to the music industry. We need to work together to protect the future of British music and British pubs.  Through our Music Makeover campaign, we want to help pubs up and down the country stage successful music nights and showcase local talent.

Debbie Mulloy - Commercial Director, Public Performance Sales, PRS for Music

We’re very proud of the vital role pubs play in fostering live music, and bringing people together to enjoy it. Trading conditions for pubs are very tough, and it’s clear from this research that music is one of the most positive ways for pubs to keep customers coming through the doors. We are happy to be working with PRS for Music and the Musicians’ Union to promote music in pubs.

Brigid Simmonds - Chief Executive, BBPA

Pubs play such a vital role in many musicians’ careers and provide an essential platform from which talent can grow. Demonstrating how music can really benefit pubs underlines how intertwined the two industries are. We need to protect and support the pub sector and the live music scene as they are both such an integral part of the UK cultural scene.

Horace Trubridge - Musicians’ Union
switching account

Switching your account...