UK live music more profitable than record sales
Live performances are now worth more than recorded music for the first time in British music industry history, according to the Performing Rights Society
The UK live music industry collects more revenue than recorded music, according to the chief economist of the Performing Rights Society.
"We've been doing some maths back at the office," Will Page told BBC 6 Music. "The changing of the guard has already taken place for the first time in the history of the British music industry."
While the UK's booking agents will bring out the champagne, label executives must be weeping into their drinks. And music pirates, well, they've got the challenge of transforming the multi-sensory gig experience (including all those expensive drinks) into something downloadable.
"We have all the data on live music at the PRS because we license all live performances around the country, so we're able to put a number on how much live music is worth," Page explained. "By scaling up, factoring in VAT, adding the booking fee, we came to a number of £904m [for live music]. So then it came to looking at how much the recorded music industry is worth ... and in 2008 it came in at £896m."
Page was one of two economists who argued last year that the "long tail" theory was untrue, showing data that 80% of songs on the internet hadn't sold a single copy. That claim was later disputed by eMusic. Page also worked with Radiohead in 2007, helping to orchestrate their "pay-what-you-like" promotion for In Rainbows.