Stars downsizing concerts blamed for industry slump

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A lack of new stars, and musicians who downsized concerts due to the recession are to blame for a £189m slump in UK music revenues, according to a report into the state of the trade.

The value of the UK music industry declined 4.8 per cent to £3.8bn last year, according to the annual report by music royalties body PRS For Music.

The survey, which combines CD and download sales, revenues from live music, and publishing and music licensing income, is the most comprehensive snapshot of the UK industry.

A 7.9 per cent fall in CD sales to £1.24bn was blamed on piracy and a dearth of big name releases. And after a decade of growth, live music revenues declined 6.8 per cent to £1.48bn.

That was put down to a number of major stadium-filling bands such as The Rolling Stones, Coldplay and Take That not touring in 2010, while many of those that did tour – such as Kings of Leon and Rod Stewart – opted to play arenas rather than bigger venues such as stadiums to limit their risk.

The report also cited European festivals, such as Benicassim in Spain, which lure British fans abroad.

It added: "There is a plausible argument that this is now crowding out the conventional touring calendar for emerging bands, with some fans saying: 'Why would I pay £30 to see you in spring, when I've already spent £200 to see you in the summer?' "

The report warned that the success of Adele was as worrying as it was welcome, as the 23-year-old artist was responsible for almost 10 per cent of all artist albums sold in the first four months of the year. "While her feats at home and abroad are worth celebrating, what's worrying is the performance of the rest of the market," it said.

The industry's future will depend on singers who are attractive to advertisers and sponsors, the report says.