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REVENUE CHART:
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS
Look who won the lottery. (1/22a)
ICYMI: THE MUSIC OF INAUGURATION DAY
Just what the doctor ordered. (1/21a)
NEAR TRUTHS: CHANGINGS OF THE GUARD
A big start to 2021. (1/19a)
THE CELEBRATION
MOVES TO iTUNES
America embraces songs of hope and uplift. (1/21a)
TOP 20: GUTEN MORGAN
Another big week for Republic. (1/21a)
RAINMAKERS
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
HOW TO FIND 11,780 VOTES
It's the way all the biggest mob bosses did it.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
Blighty Beat
U.K. CHARTS: AND 'MORE AGAIN
1/8/21

Taylor Swift’s evermore (EMI) has topped the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart for a second week while RCA’s Little Mix have their fifth #1 single, “Sweet Melody.”

Elsewhere on albums, Harry Styles’ Fine Line (Columbia) is up eight places to #2 this week following the release of “Treat People With Kindness” and its accompanying video. 

Little Mix’s Confetti is up one to #3, followed by Pop Smoke also up one to #4 with Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon (Polydor). Dua Lipa completes the Top 5 with Future Nostalgia (Warner Records).

Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (EMI)—the U.K.’s biggest album of 2020—makes a return to the Top 10, up six places to #6, while rising star The Kid Laroi vaults 12 places to #10 with mixtape F**k Love (Columbia).

…Read more

MUSIC RETAIL UP 6.8% IN 2020
1/8/21

Retail spending on music in the U.K. grew by 6.8% last year to £1.55b, its highest total since 2006, according to preliminary figures from the Entertainment Retailers’ Association. Streaming grew by 15.5% to £1.21b, accounting for 78% of the total market.

Vinyl rose 13.3% to £110m, counting for 7% of the overall total or 40% of the physical music market where CD sales dipped 28% to £156.2m or a 10% share.  Download revenues dipped 19.5% to £72.2m and a 4.6% share of total revenues.

The overall growth is slower than the 7.1% achieved in 2019, when revenues from streaming rose 23.5%. In 2018, the U.K. music retail market rose 8.9% and streaming was up 37.7%.

2020's rise in revenues is also 1.4% lower than the rise in consumption. Last year, BPI figures report that recorded music consumption rose 8.2% while streaming was up 22% to count for an 80.6% share.

The overall entertainment market—music, video and games—rose 16.8% in 2020 to a record £9.05b. It’s the fastest growth rate since records began, driven above all by digital services, which saw revenues increase by £1.4b over 2019 to a new high of £7.8b.

“If there was ever a year in which we needed entertainment, it was 2020,” ERA CEO Kim Bayley said. “The trend towards an increasingly digital entertainment market may be long established, but no one could have foreseen this dramatic leap as digital services filled the gap left by shuttered cinemas, concert halls and retail stores.

“With much of the country shut down, ERA’s members provided a welcome revenue stream for thousands of musicians, actors, directors and countless backroom staff.”

SALIEU'S THE SOUND OF 2021
1/7/21

Warner Records U.K. rapper Pa Salieu has been crowned winner of BBC Music Sound of 2021. His debut mixtape, Send them to Coventry, arrived last year.

Managed by September Management, Salieu was born in Slough and spent his formative years in Gambia before moving to Coventry at the age of eight. His new home later became the inspiration behind his breakout track, “Frontline,” and his debut mixtape. He’s had widespread support at BBC Radio 1Xtra and Radio 1. Should touring be viable, he’s set to play a string of U.K. dates in May, including a show at London’s 700-capacity Village Underground.

…Read more

STATE OF PLAY: U.K. FESTIVALS
1/6/21

Several U.K. music festivals are considering canceling 2021 events, which could be ruinous in the long term, according to evidence heard at the first parliamentary inquiry into the future of British festivals on Tuesday.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) CEO Paul Reed said festivals are rapidly reaching the point where a concrete decision on whether they can proceed with plans for 2021 will have to be made. With the U.K. in full lockdown now until at least mid-February, the summer season is looking precarious. 

At the inquiry, Boomtown Fair’s Anna Wade said festival organizers will be in “absolutely dire straits” financially should the season be canceled. Sacha Lord, co-founder of Parklife Festival said if the Government doesn’t help with cancellation insurance, “the vast majority” of festivals will disappear. Major festivals—Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury and Wireless among them—have all announced dates for 2021.

Similarly to the UK Music’s call for a Government plan issued Tuesday, AIF is calling for five key interventions from Government to support the festival sector’s safe return this year. The org wants a conditional start date, a reinsurance scheme and an extension to the reduced 5% cultural VAT on tickets. It also wants sector-specific financial support until the industry recovers and premises license fee rollovers from local authorities.

“Given that festivals take at least six months to plan, this is absolutely the right time to be having this conversation,” Reed said. “Key decisions do need to be made now to sustain the prospect of a U.K. festival industry this year and beyond.”

UK MUSIC ASKS: SAVE OUR SUMMER
1/5/21

UK Music has offered a six-prong action plan for the government to follow to get the live music industry back up and running in a report titled Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer.

Released on the day a new lockdown went into effect, the industry org has asked for an indicative date for full capacity restart; a Government-backed reinsurance scheme; targeted financial support; extension to the VAT rate reduction on tickets; rollover of the paid 2020 Local Authority license fees; and extension to business rates relief.

“The task for the music industry is therefore to first demonstrate that we can effectively manage the health risk by taking necessary measures to reduce the risk of transmission at live music events, and secondly to find a way to operate in the current landscape in a way that is financially viable,” UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin wrote in the report.

UK Music is asking the government to establish a taskforce that can advise, evaluate and validate the various innovations the industry plans to implement. They request that what was done with the Sports Technology and Innovation Group be applied to the live performing arts sector.

“The clock is ticking, and any day soon we could see major festivals and events start pulling the plug for lack of certainty,” Njoku-Goodwin told The Guardian. “There will need to be a concerted effort from industry and the government together.”

Read the full report here.

U.K. MIDWEEKS: TAY VS.HARRY
1/4/21

Harry Styles and Taylor Swift are battling it out for the U.K.’s Official Albums #1 this week. Over on singles, Little Mix are leading the midweek race with “Sweet Melody” (RCA).
Swift’s Evermore (EMI) sits at #1 on the albums chart at the halfway stage, followed by Styles’ Fine Line (Columbia), which rises eight places to a new peak of #2 after the arrival of his new single, “Treat People With Kindness.”

Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia (Warner Records) remains at #3, followed by Little Mix at #4 with Confetti (RCA). Queen’s Greatest Hits (EMI) is up three places to #5.

Fresh from his appearance on Jools Holland’s annual HootenannyMichael Kiwanuka’s KIWANUKA (Polydor) is on track to re-enter at #16, while Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Songs From The Kitchen Disco (Cooking Vinyl) is the most downloaded album of the week—it’s #19 following her Graham Norton Show performance.

…Read more

MUSIC CONSUMPTION RISES 8.2%
1/4/21

 

Recorded music consumption in the U.K. rose for a sixth consecutive year, up 8.2% in 2020 thanks to a 22% rise in streaming, according to record label association BPI. Streaming now counts for an 80.6% share of music consumption.

In 2020, Official Charts Company data shows that 155m albums or their equivalent were streamed or purchased, with audio streams reaching 139b. The top 10 streaming artists in 2020 each achieved more than 500m streams in the U.K. alone and nearly 200 artists were streamed over 100m times.

The increase in consumption was achieved despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While demand initially dipped around the start of the first lockdown, listening rebounded across streaming and physical formats, and grew throughout the year.

…Read more

U.K. CHARTS: CHRISTMAS CLASSICS CLAIM TOP SPOTS
1/1/21

Wham!’s “Last Christmas” (RCA) has finally claimed #1 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart 36 years after its release. Over on albums, Michael Buble’s Christmas (Reprise) has climbed to #1.

“Last Christmas” rose two places to #1 this week with 9.2m streams, setting a new record in the process. The track claims the longest time taken for a single to reach #1, overtaking Tony Christie’s “Amarillo,” which took 33 tears and four months to reach the summit in 2005.

Previously, “Last Christmas” was the U.K.’s best-selling single to never reach #1, accumulating 1.9m pure sales to date across its lifetime. That title is now handed over to Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” f/Christina Aguilera (Polydor) with 1.55m pure sales (it peaked at #2 in 2011).

The remaining singles Top 5 today consists of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (Columbia) by Mariah Carey at #2, “This Christmas” by Jess Glynne for Amazon at #3, Justin Bieber’s cover of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” which was also released as an Amazon Original, at #4 and “Fairytale of New York” (Parlophone) by The Pogues at #5.

On the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart, Buble’s Christmas returns to the summit for the first time in nine years, claiming a fourth non-consecutive week at #1.

Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia (Warner Records) flies 15 places to #3, Little Mix rise four places to #4 with Confetti (RCA), and Pop Smoke’s posthumous Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon (Polydor) is up 17 spots to #5. 

Sam Smith’s Love Goes (Capitol) rises four to return to the Top 10 at #9, while Ariana Grande’s Positions (Island) is up 18 places to #11. Taylor Swift’s Folklore (EMI) rebounds 15 places to #15.