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BPI MUSIC MARKET 2016: HOORAY, ADELE; BOO, YOUTUBE

U.K.-born artists counted for a 17.1% share of the global albums market in 2015, thought to be the highest on record, thanks in part to the 17.4m sales of Adele’s 25 (XL). However, the British boon didn’t result in more cash for the industry overall, says trade body BPI, thanks to the lack of cash user-generated content on ad-supported platforms like YouTube generates (although we imagine Team Adele enjoyed a nice bonus).

The BPI's Music Market 2016 report highlights a disparity between consumption and compensation; while total industry revenues including performance rights grew by 0.6% in the U.K. in 2015, income from sales and streaming of recorded music dipped by 0.9% to £688m. Imagine that number without the 2.5m copies of 25 that were sold last year in Blighty, which wasn’t available to stream, and you get a pretty dismal picture.

Audio streaming increased 82% to 27bn plays in the U.K. in 2015, delivering a 69% rise in income to £146.1m. However, it’s video streaming where the issue arises, with an 88% rise in the use of ad-supported platforms generating a 0.4% increase in revenue to £24.4m.

Domestic album sales from British artists reached an 18-year high last year, with U.K. acts counting for 54.7% share album sales in Blighty, and counting for seven of the Top 10 best-sellers.

Geoff Taylor, BPI & BRIT Awards Chief Executive, said the numbers require “urgent action” from the EU and the British Government to ensure labels are able to continue investing in new music and more music industry friendly services like Spotify and Apple Music can pay a “fairer” amount of royalties.

“The fact that sales revenues dipped in a record year for British music shows clearly that something is fundamentally broken in the music market, so that artists and the labels that invest in them no longer benefit fairly from growing demand,” said Taylor.

“Instead, dominant tech platforms like YouTube are able to abuse liability protections as royalty havens, dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists.”

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