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PRS reports live music revenue fell by almost 30% in 2021

This trend was seen despite the reopening of live music last year

  • Words: Aneesa Ahmed | Image: Nicholas Green
  • 26 April 2022
PRS reports live music revenue fell by almost 30% in 2021

A new report shows that royalties from live performances in the UK fell by almost 30% in 2021, despite concerts and gigs resuming in the latter half of 2021.

Concert revenues were recorded at just £8m, down from £11.3m in 2020 and £54m in 2019. This data was collected by PRS for Music - the body that collects royalties for songwriters.

Read this next: 86,000 jobs have been lost in the nightlife sector due to the pandemic

Only 19,300 setlists were recorded last year, which is a small figure compared to the pre-pandemic number of 124,000.

As the BBC states, CEO Andrea Martin said: "It's a huge decrease, but we will see a bounce back this year."

By this, she means that there is optimism within the industry as over 240 major tours are planned for the UK.

However, due to the hit taken by the industry by the pandemic, PRS for Music expect that pre-pandemic levels will not be reached again until 2023.

However, NME reports that a new forecast by PwC in its ‘Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021–2025’ report predicts that pre-pandemic rates will not be met again until 2025.

It is predicted that by 2025, the live music revenue forecast will hit £1.56 billion – almost as much as the £1.58bn it was worth in 2019.

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Mark Maitland, UK head of Entertainment and Media at PwC, said: “UK consumers’ rapid migration to digital behaviours in the pandemic has now become embedded in their day-to-day lives, helping to sustain overall growth across Entertainment and Media for the coming five years.

"As companies race to meet consumers’ evolving needs with new products, services and experiences, the E&M industry will become more pervasive, more immersive and more diverse.

“Some sectors have found interesting ways to navigate the effects of the pandemic – notable examples include B2B events moving to online/virtual and now increasingly hybrid formats. However, sectors such as live music have struggled to go virtual, as it’s so difficult to replicate the in-person experience online. So there’s pent-up demand in those sectors ready to be released as lockdown ends.”

Read this next: One third of music industry jobs have been lost due to the pandemic, report finds

However, despite falls in live music revenue, the pandemic has seen an increase in music listening and consumption.

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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