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RECORDED MUSIC REVENUE UP IN 2020

U.K. recorded-music revenue rose by 3.8% in 2020 to reach £1.118b, according to The BPI. It’s the highest total since 2006 and the fifth consecutive year of growth, albeit at a slower rate due to the impact of the pandemic. 

Revenues from streaming fueled much of the rise, growing 15.4% to £736.5m. Subscription income grew 14.7% to £650.3m, with ad-supported up 17.5% to £42.4m. Video streaming rose 24.4% to £43.8m. 

Physical revenues decreased by 2.6% to £210.3m, which is an improvement on 2019’s 10.4% dip, helped by the response of independent shops, specialist chains and customers who switched to purchasing online during lockdown. Climbing vinyl revenues, boosted by online campaigns, increased by nearly a third (30.5%) to £86.5m, the highest total since 1989. This helped cushion the impact of reduced CD-sales income, a decrease of 18.5% to £115m.

Download income dropped by 25.1% to £43.3, and the pandemic has had a notable impact on performing-rights income, which fell by 22.4% to £105.4m, and sync revenue, which declined by 26.4% to £20.9m. For the four years preceding 2020, U.K. recorded-music revenue grew at an average rate of 7%. 

“The lockdowns inevitably affected financial results in 2020 but, unlike other parts of our industry, which were hit very hard, the seamless connectivity of streaming and the enduring love of vinyl meant that recorded music was relatively insulated from the pandemic's worst effects and was still able to post growth," said BPI Chief Exec Geoff Taylor

“The ongoing increase in paid-subscription streaming fueled labels’ ability to continue investing in artists. The safe and rapid reopening of live venues is the music community’s critical first priority, but the resilience of recorded music demonstrates the important role it plays in people’s lives even in the midst of the COVID pandemic.”

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