Streaming revenue growth props up UK music industry

An image of mobile phones running Apple Music and Spotify apps

Revenue from music streaming services grew in the UK by 49% last year while overall music sales and money raised through live shows fell.

A report by Measuring Music for the industry’s umbrella group UK Music shows that streaming revenue brought in £251million in 2015 via services such as Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer. Measuring Music say streaming is “the key to renewed and continued growth for British music and its artists globally.”

The report also reflects on YouTube’s rate of pay to artists, which has come under fire from various rock groups this year – most notably Sixx AM, Radiohead and Anthrax.

UK Music Chief Executive Jo Dipple says: “The YouTube model, despite its reach, is yet to deliver fair financial returns for rights owners and creators.”

The report is published as the UK government prepares to debate the Digital Economy Bill in the House of Commons on September 13 (Tuesday).

Music sales fell to £610m in 2015 compared to £615m the year before while the value of the live music industry fell from £924m to £910m.

Overall, the contribution of the UK music business to the British economy was £4.1bn, a growth of just 0.5% and falling behind GDP (gross domestic product) growth.

Meanwhile, the music industry has issued a plea to politicians to protect the UK’s status as one of the world’s biggest exporters of music as they continue negotiations to leave the European Union following the Brexit referendum result.

In 2015, exports of British music rose 3.4% and Ms Dipple says policies must be put in place to ensure this continues.

She says: “The UK needs to solidify its new post-Brexit place in the world and music will undoubtedly be part of the glue that does this.

“Our export profile is astounding which is partly why music, like sport, gives the world an understanding of our small country.

“UK Music’s goal is to work with government to convince them to give us policies as good as the music we produce.”

Musicians' Union welcomes vinyl sales figures

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.