Thanks to hipsters and pretty damn unfavourable royalties contracts, vinyl generated more income for British music acts than YouTube last year. Just consider that for a moment.
Fresh figures from BPI show that vinyl sales in the UK -- over two million, the most since 1994 -- generated £25.1 million in record industry revenues in 2015. Though the popularity of music video streams skyrocketed by 88% to almost 27 billion over the same period, YouTube and similar ad-supported streaming platforms only brought in £24.4 million.
Total revenues generated by British music amounted to £688m, representing a 1% drop from last year.
“It is hugely encouraging that demand for British music is so strong at home and abroad thanks to our brilliant artists and the continual innovation and investment of our record labels,” said Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of BPI. “Yet the fact that sales revenues dipped in a record year for British music shows clearly that something is fundamentally broken in the music market, so that artists and the labels that invest in them no longer benefit fairly from growing demand.
“Instead, dominant tech platforms like YouTube are able to abuse liability protections as royalty havens, dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists.”
Somewhere right now, the smug ghost of Prince is shrugging his shoulders and struggling not to say "I told you so." [Guardian]