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Live music revenues faced further decline in 2021

PRS for Music, a body that collects royalties for songwriters, has said that royalties from live performances of music fell roughly 30% in 2021, despite concerts and festivals resuming in the summer.

Revenue from concerts amounted to just £8m (€9.5m/$10m), down from £11.3m in 2020 and £54m in 2019. PRS said that only 19,300 setlists were reported last year, which is a major decline from the pre-pandemic levels of 124,000.

PRS for Music chief executive Andrea Martin told the BBC: “It’s a huge decrease, but we will see a bounce back this year.”

Despite the confidence shown by Martin, it is expected that revenues from live music will not be expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2023. However, major acts such as Dua Lipa (pictured), Little Mix and Stormzy are already on tour, while stadium shows from Harry Styles, Sir Elton John, The Rolling Stones and Adele are planned for this summer.

PRS said that it had processed 27 trillion performances of music last year, including streams, downloads, radio and TV broadcasts, as well as music that is played in pubs, clubs, hairdressers and concert venues. UK songwriters benefited from hits such as Ed Sheeran’s Bad Habits, Dua Lipa’s Levitating and Glass Animals’ Heat Waves.

These songs plus others such as Adele’s Easy On Me resulted in £225.5m of royalties from streaming services like Spotty and Apple Music, a 45% increase from two years ago. Social media platform TikTok has now also ensured artists will receive royalties when their songs are used.

PRS collected £777.1m in royalties last year, which is only slightly down from the pre-pandemic figure of £810m.

Martin added: “I’m very excited and proud of these results because they show that the music industry is very resilient. It really shows that music connects and engages people and that we can bounce back.”

Image: Justin Higuchi/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size