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A new report by the Music Producers Guild has found that recording engineers and producers have now lost over 70% of their income, with many having stopped work altogether. The average loss of earnings in March was £3300, rising to £4300 in April. More than half say they will default on rent or mortgage payments in 3 months or less, and many are unable to cover the cost of their studio premises. “If this continues for another month or two I’ll no longer be able to keep my studio.” Engineer/Producer, London 

“To have enough weekly money to buy food, heating and petrol for my husband who works as a care worker and who may well be looking after the sick to get to work. We are a family of 4 and £94 Universal Credit after five weeks would leave us hungry in the extreme.” Songwriter-producer, Scotland. 

The MPG are urgently calling on the government to come up with an equivalent support package for the self-employed. “Our members can’t go for months without income. Some engineers have had no work since the beginning of March, and many are still paying full rent on their studios. If they lose their studios and equipment they will never get back into the industry, and the UK will lose huge swathes of talent. The government must act to safeguard our livelihoods” 

This comes amidst news that some of the UK’s top recording studios have shut their doors completely over the next few weeks, including the iconic Abbey Road and Air Studios in London, and Parr Street Studios in Liverpool. 

The MPG last week sent a letter on behalf of studios to the culture secretary asking for business rates relief for recording studios, as their businesses had been severely impacted by the pandemic.  

Maggie Rodford,Managing Director of Air-Edel Recording Studios, said: “The UK’s music talent are recognised as world-wide leaders across all genres and media.   The composers, musicians and engineers that write and record the music contribute significantly to both the local and export economy.   However, without RECORDING STUDIOS none of these recordings could happen.   By the nature of our work recording studios have had to close their doors at the moment but we all have the fixed costs of rent, rates, etc.  We are desperately in need of assistance to see us through these difficult months.” 

Alison Burton, Director of AIR Studios said: “It is not currently possible for us to operate safely and responsibly during the Covid-19 crisis as it involves recording large groups of musicians and orchestras. This is not sustainable, and if we and other recording studios go out of business, hundreds of musicians, engineers and composers will have nowhere to record. We urgently need the government to intervene to save our industry.” 

Jasmin Lee, Managing Director of Dean Street Studios said: “Studios seem to be bottom of the food chain in the music industry, always being beaten down on rates. For those of us who are independent, it’s always hand to mouth on the finances. Many of us have put our life savings into starting our studios and keeping our doors open. “ 

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Case Studies 

Ben Hillier, Producer, Nadine Shah, Depeche Mode, Blur , Gang of Four

I was expecting to spend most of the year playing live to promote the upcoming Nadine Shah album. All up-coming gigs have been cancelled, all bookings in my studios have been cancelled or are likely to be cancelled. All my work is collaborative and mostly can’t continue under current restrictions. I can theoretically continue to mix without artists in attendance but, even if I could suddenly magic some mix sessions up, the recording sessions for those projects will have been disrupted. I can keep my head above water for the foreseeable but the engineers and assistants that rely on my projects don’t have much to fall back on. We’re trying to generate any work we can to keep people busy, and maybe even paid but without some form of industry or government help things are looking grim 

Freelance producer

As a single working mum in the music industry, with elderly at risk parents living with me, we have had to isolate with immediate effect for 12 weeks. My work for the forthcoming 6 months has been axed. Suddenly it’s a minefield to work out how to find and sustain an income, how to apply to receive any financial support, care for parents who are usually receiving weekly hospital medication, a child now unable to attend school, and to remain in isolation for 12 weeks.... and keep clients who are not in isolation and are able to function relatively normally, happy, is almost too much to bear. 

Andy Brook, studio owner & producer. Has worked with Status Quo, Towers of London, Uriah Heep, Travis

I did my final attended session last week before closing the studio doors for the foreseeable future. The drummer came in through the side door, did his bit and left. Not once did we meet face to face, shake hands or even occupy the same room - these are very strange days. 

Originally I was meant to be on a UK tour from early Mar until mid April while the studio still made a passive income from dry-hire as well as choir and band rehearsals. I’d made sure that all mix revisions, edits, stem bounces and client requests for remote work were fulfilled before I left so I didn’t have to worry about it on the road.    We got 4 dates in to the tour before it was postponed as the landscape kept continuously changing amid the fears over COVID19. I began booking clients in as soon as I’d had confirmation we were heading home.    I managed to fill my diary with studio sessions for the lost tour dates but then one by one all those bookings called to cancel or postpone. It was a double whammy in lost income and I’d already completed all my outstanding remote work so there was literally nothing to do. 

I’m currently using this down time to upskill and do essential maintenance, archiving etc but until such time as there is a clear directive I can’t see when the doors will be open again. Even then, given the economic impact on musicians and recording artists, there’s the question of how long it will be before clients come flooding back. I remain optimistic though - there will certainly be a lot of potential records being written right now while the nation is in lockdown 

James Johnston, engineer and studio owner, London

I run Cowshed Studios which is a small independent studio for the last 3 years, It has been open since 1975 and I have serious worries about not being able to survive after the next 3 -4 months without any clients able to come in or hire the studio.   I have had to cancel all my sessions since the 16th march and through April. I may be able to do some mixing and remote drum tracking, but as my clients are all in the same boat unable to work they probably can't afford to pay for my services, even at cut price rates, I will try and I am determined not to give up on  such a historic well loved and unique studio 

Kirsty Hawkshaw, Freelance Producer

I live from month to month and never really know what royalties may be coming in.  I have a part time job for extra income which I have now also lost.  I had an advance for a gig booking in Malaga in December and now the promoter wants his money back because Malaga is off limits and I can’t afford to pay it back. I have no income now till April MCPS/PRS comes in and don’t know what that will be either. 

Producer, London

I run a small studio in north west London , mainly for recording, mixing and production with my own clients. I rent the space. I also work free lance delivering tuition and mentoring for two London music production colleges. My recording work has completely collapsed practically overnight. I have some ongoing mix projects which I may be able to continue with to some extent. I was due to teach 3 short courses in April. The college has now closed its doors. There’s a slim possibility of some delivery on line but even if that goes ahead it will be at a reduced rate. It’s looking very unlikely that I will be able to hold onto my premises and therefore my livelihood.

 

22 May 2024 | Press release

Shufti Pro and .MUSIC partner to authenticate music identities and protect global music community against AI impersonation

In the new age of AI-powered musical impersonation, deepfakes and bots, an artist's greatest asset in the digital world is their Name, Image, Likeness, and Voice (NILV). Today, identity verification is essential to ensure trust, integrity, and authenticity. .MUSIC and...more

22 May 2024 | Press release

The Web3 Music Association unveils platform for education, innovation and collaboration

Music Companies Join Forces to Explore Opportunities in the Advanced Technology Space   The Web3 Music Association (W3M), a new music industry trade body facilitating industry-wide research and development, has announced its official launch.   A global organisation, W3M brings together influential entities...more

22 May 2024 | Press release

LIVE launch ‘Powered By Freelancers - the Live Music Edition 2024’

UK Music Industry’s First, Comprehensive Study of Freelancers in the Live Sector Reveals Both Optimism and Concerns 60% of Freelancers ‘Optimistic’ about the Next 12 Months but Changes Still Needed LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment), which represents 16 live music...more

22 May 2024 | Press release

ICE passes €1bn a year in royalties distributed

  ICE has distributed more than €1bn to rightsholders in a consecutive 12-month period for the first time.  It took just under 3½ years to reach the first €1bn in distributions, just over 2 more years to pass the second billion and...more

22 May 2024 | Press release

A tsunami of success for The Spanish Wave!

The Spain lead country programme packs out all six of their events at the 2024 edition of The Great Escape, watch the aftermovie here. Spain lead country at The Great Escape 2024 in data: More than 2000 fans and industry attending...more

22 May 2024 | Press release

MCPS distributions up 8.5% to £204.3 million in 2023

The UK collection society for mechanical rights has now distributed over £4 billion to publishers, songwriters and composers this century   MCPS, the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society, the organisation that represents the mechanical rights of music publishers, songwriters and composers in the UK,...more

22 May 2024 | Press release

Music Venue Trust announces ‘The Artist Pledge’

ARTISTS COMMIT TO SUPPORT GRASSROOTS MUSIC VENUES THROUGH TICKET LEVY Frank Turner, Enter Shikari, snake eyes, The Luka State, Sister, Red Rum Club, Vigilantes and more have signed the pledgemusicvenuetrust.com/the-artist-pledgeIf we can't change the music industry now, then we'll change it...more

22 May 2024 | Press release

Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums list culminates today with the much-anticipated reveal of the top 10 albums of all time and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill crowned No. 1

  Upon receiving the news, Lauryn Hill told Apple Music: “This is my award, but it’s a rich, deep narrative, and involves so many people, and so much sacrifice, and so much time, and so much collective love.” To celebrate, Apple Music’s...more

22 May 2024 | Press release

RNIB presents the 6th Duke of Westminster Lifetime Achievement Award to British music producer, businessman and disability campaigner

Sir Robin Millar was celebrated for his noble work in the sight loss sector at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) See Differently Awards, supported by People’s Postcode Lottery.      Sir Robin Millar CBE, 72, from Tottenham, London, who...more

22 May 2024 | Press release

2024 Polar Music Prize

Yesterday, two legendary names in music were honoured with the 2024 Polar Music Prize at a gala ceremony held in Stockholm, Sweden.Nile Rodgers, award-winning songwriter, composer, producer, arranger, guitarist and co-founder of CHIC, and Esa-Pekka Salonen, esteemed conductor and composer,...more

21 May 2024 | Press release

Metaverse studio Karta hires from Tommy Hilfiger, Epic Games and Emperia

  Karta continues to expand its workforce significantly to deal with ever-increasing demand for metaverse experiences The startup announces five new hires - eyeing up new sectors and bolstering its game design, programming and production output   Karta, an award-winning metaverse studio pioneering the...more

21 May 2024 | Press release

Worldwide independent music community calls for joined-up approach on GenAI through high global standards and collaboration

WIN presents guidance around key principles promoting safety, transparency, respect for copyright, a human-centered approach, ethics, and cross border consistency. Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), the organization that connects and develops the global independent music community, has created new guidance on generative...more

21 May 2024 | Press release

AWAL partners with Creative Futures Collective to launch AWAL Futures Program

  AWAL has partnered with the LA-based networking and mentoring program Creative Futures Collective to launch the AWAL Futures program, with the focus on launching the careers of artists and supporting creatives from underrepresented communities. The artists selected into the AWAL Futures...more

21 May 2024 | Press release

Full Fat opens applications for summer 2024 pro-bono scheme

Apply here Applications open: 21st May Deadline: 21st June  Since 2020, Full Fat has pledged to commit an annual pro-bono budget to charitable organisations that echo the agency's Diversity & Inclusion policies. Full Fat has worked with eight organisations over the last four years...more

21 May 2024 | Press release

The Other Songs Live celebrates songwriters in spectacular showcase at the London Palladium

 CAT STEVENS DUETS “FATHER AND SON” WITH TOM ODELL IN SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCE   BERNIE TAUPIN DISCUSSES PARTNERSHIP WITH ELTON, TEASES NEW ALBUM  GABRIELS’ JACOB LUSK PERFORMS DONNA SUMMER’S CLASSIC “I FEEL LOVE”  PLUS MORE APPEARANCES FROM MAX RICHTER, CIAN DUCROT, CELESTE, KAMILLE AND...more

21 May 2024 | Press release

TCE Presents & Broadwick Live reveal debut venue in NYC under new partnership

BROOKLYN STOREHOUSE IS A TRANSFORMATIVE 104,000 SQ FT CULTURAL SPACE IN BROOKLYN NAVY YARD   TCE PRESENTS & BROADWICK LIVE, two of the most culturally impactful independent curators of live events and venue experiences, have now unveiled the first major project of their...more

21 May 2024 | Press release

BEAT Music Fund Closes Deal with GRAMMY-nominated Artist Jax Jones

Armada Music Group’s acquisition arm continues upward momentum with latest move including a deal with singer-songwriter AMBA SHEPHERD and new releases with Sola Records  BEAT Music Fund, the dance music investment company from Armada Music Group, today announced it has acquired...more

20 May 2024 | Press release

Groundbreaking new AI-powered radio airplay monitoring platform Radiostats launches

Developed by Songstats, Radiostats is a groundbreaking, AI-powered radio airplay monitoring platform that stands to transform the way artists, labels, and promoters monitor radio plays across the globe. Elevating Airplay Monitoring Standards Radiostats is raising the bar for airplay monitoring solutions. Traditionally it has been very inefficient...more

17 May 2024 | Press release

The Mechanical Licensing Collective Brings Legal Action for Unpaid Royalties Against Spotify USA

Complaint asserts Spotify has underpaid The MLC for royalties due under the compulsory mechanical blanket license.     The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) announced today that it has filed a legal action against music streaming platform Spotify USA Inc. (Spotify) in the...more

17 May 2024 | Press release

Billie Eilish - #HITMEHARDANDSOFT takeover

Today, TikTok is excited to unveil the #HITMEHARDANDSOFT takeover in celebration of Billie Eilish's new album, Hit Me Hard and Soft launching Friday, 5/17.   Fans can immerse themselves into the album through playlist curation, challenges to unlock exclusive artwork for their profiles, and the opportunity...more

17 May 2024 | Press release

Sony Music Publishing Promotes Nasra Artan to Head of International A&R

Sony Music Publishing today announced the promotion of Nasra Artan to the new position of Head of International A&R, effective immediately.As Head of International A&R, Artan will take on a broader role in spearheading SMP’s international creative strategy. She will...more

17 May 2024 | Press release

KT Tunstall to receive an Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Song Collection

CELEBRATING HER CREATIVE OUTPUT AND SONGWRITING ABILITY ACROSS A PROLIFIC 20-YEAR CAREER AMAZON MUSIC EXCLUSIVELY RELEASES UNHEARD DEMO OF KT TUNSTALL'S "SUDDENLY I SEE"LISTEN HEREKT Tunstall will receive the award at the world's biggest and most prestigious celebration of songwriters, The...more

17 May 2024 | Press release

ATC and Raw Power join forces to create artist management powerhouse

ATC Management is delighted to announce a majority investment in Raw Power Management, bringing together two of the UK's most revered artist management businesses under one roof.   Founded in 2006 by current CEO, Craig Jennings, Raw Power Management represents many of...more

17 May 2024 |

Rajar Q1 2024 - editorial

Now here's a stat to confound and bemuse all the naysayers who'll try to convince you that nobody listens to the radio anymore. Almost 50 million UK adults do every single week. That's the highest number ever recorded and represents...more

17 May 2024 | Press release

beatBread brings business affairs in-house with new appointment

    beatBread (www.beatBread.com), the AI-driven funding platform for music that enables artists and labels to access growth capital while maintaining ownership and control, has appointed Julian Dunn as Director of Business Affairs, to provide legal and business affairs support across all...more

16 May 2024 | Press release

Survey reveals growing demand for environmentally friendly vinyl records

Research from Key Production reveals over two thirds (69%) of vinyl consumers would buy more if records were made more sustainably 77 per cent of regular vinyl customers willing to pay a premium for reduced impact products  83 per cent of general...more

16 May 2024 | Press release

Sony Music Publishing Acquires Kevin Parker’s Complete Song Catalog, Expands Global Deal

Deal extends longstanding partnership, encompassing catalog and future works Sony Music Publishing today announced it has acquired the catalog of award-winning singer, songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker. The deal expands the company’s longstanding partnership with Parker, which first began in 2009,...more

16 May 2024 | Press release

TikTok LIVE's Gimme The Mic returns with SoundOn

Gimme The Mic, TikTok LIVE's global talent competition to discover new musical talent is back for 2024, this time in partnership with TikTok's SoundOn.   First launched in 2023, Gimme The Mic gives emerging artists and music creators an opportunity to build their...more

16 May 2024 | Press release

Global growth!

  Global delivered an incredible set of RAJAR figures for Quarter 1 (1 January – 31 March 2024), with a record-breaking 27.6 million people tuning in each week to live radio across Global's brands, with huge gains on reach, hours and share in the last...more

15 May 2024 | Press release

AIM Independent Music Awards 2024 Return to Roundhouse – Submissions Open!

Fourth Roundhouse edition takes place Thursday 17th October More inclusive than ever, with several categories free to enterTastemaker awards celebrates the UK’s most most exciting new music, businesses and entrepreneurs The AIM Independent Music Awards returns on 17th October for its fourth...more

22 May 2024

  • Apple is not the only one crushing the old music-making paradigm (see Comment)

21 May 2024

  • Government says it will bring forward AI training rules (see News)

20 May 2024

  • Music rightsholders reach their ‘or what?’ moment with AI (see Comment)

17 May 2024

  • Analysis of yesterday's Rajar Q1 2024 results (see Media)

  • How the music industry is in a new age of arrogance (see Opinion)

16 May 2024

  • Rajars Q1 - commercial radio on the rise (see Media)

15 May 2024

  • Musicians share stories about struggling to make ends (see Features)

14 May 2024

  • Proper enters new era (see Business)

  • A perspective on the health of the UK's live industry (see Features)

13 May 2024

  • Why Penske bought all the media companies (see Podcasts)

  • MPs call for arena ticket levy and tax relief to stem tide of grassroots music venue closures (see News)

10 May 2024

  • Spotify reveals streaming royalties data for UK (see Digital)

09 May 2024

  • Apple’s soul-crushing iPad Pro advert: Who thought this was a good idea? (see Bigger Picture)

  • Steve Albini was a button-pushing musician of uncompromising brilliance (see Features)