PRS for Music (formerly known as the Performing Right Society) - an important association of composers, songwriters and music publishers in the UK - has just revealed the results of their 2010 report “Adding Up The UK Music Industry”. It's not a pretty picture. According to their information, music revenues in 2010 were down 189 million GBP compared to 2009. The decline is due to the decrease in CD sales (7.9% less, due to digital piracy, the worldwide economic crisis and changes in consumer behaviour in favour of digital downloads and streaming) and the lack of big bands touring last year. The sales bump of 2009 - mainly thanks to the Susan Boyle phenomenon, the Lady Gaga album and the higher demand of Michael Jackson's music after his death - didn't repeat last year, registering a 4.8% decrease of record sales (3.8 billion GBP in 2010).
2010 was also the year when fewer big names than ever decided to tour. Those who did, like Kings Of Leon or Rod Stewart, opted to play smaller venues - which made revenues from live performances go down 6.8% to 1.48 billion GBP.
The report further calculates that the only positive figures come from the slow increase of digital sales, although PRS for Music says that that upwards tendency is a lot less important than was expected five years ago: instead of the estimated 30 billion US dollars predicted at the time, the global number seems to be stuck at 5 billion.