Another Call To Tackle File-Sharing

The UK record labels didn’t miss the chance to use the announcement that they’d upped their secondary revenues by 6.6 percent to £193.5 million as a platform to take another swipe at illegal file-sharing.

“The growth in labels’ secondary income in 2009, combined with the strong increases in digital revenue already announced, illustrates the outstanding potential of British recorded music if illegal file-sharing can be tackled,” said BPI chief exec Geoff Taylor.

The BPI had thrown its weight behind the Digital Economy Bill, which was passed during the last days of the recently ousted Labour government, but the measures it proposes to take against suspected file-sharers are still the subject of strong opposition from major Internet companies including Google and Facebook and broadband providers such as British Telecom and TalkTalk.

Having another look at the Digital Economy Bill is likely to be something the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government will kick into the long grass while it’s preoccupied with sorting out the British economy.

“Music companies continue to face an enormous challenge from illegal downloading, but are responding positively by transforming themselves for the future, identifying new opportunities to generate returns from the massive investments they make – hundreds of millions of pounds per year – in UK talent,” Taylor continued.

The main sources of the increased income were artist-related multiple-rights deals – or so-called 360-degree deals – that include concerts, merchandising and sales of music direct from artist and label websites. It was a significant source of revenue in 2009, earning more than £58.6 million – 16.7 percent up on 2008.

Broadcasting and public performance licensing income of £72.1 million from PPL accounted for more than a third of secondary revenues. Synchronization deals from the use of music in film, TV, advertising and games grew by 19.6 percent to £25.2 million.