Musicians received lower royalty income for the first time ever last year, because consumers are switching from CD to digital and because digital sales growth itself is slowing.
Here are latest annual figures from PRS For Music…
The royalty collector blamed “tough trading conditions and customers switching to digital formats, both legal and unlicensed”.
“Growth in royalties from legal digital services slowed to 4.3 percent. Future strong growth possible if legal sites can compete in a market place with continued unlicensed services.”
Anti-piracy measures sanctioned by the UK’s Digital Economy Act – graduated-response and site-blocking – remain unimplemented due to legal logjams.
But the music industry is not all about anti-piracy – the thing that could really re-ignite music sales is augmenting a la carte with new models like subscription. The problem with that – payouts from the likes of Spotify are themselves widely thought to be small.