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. “ 


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.


01 Mar 2021 | Press release

Matchstick - Digital Talent Agency launches


01 Mar 2021 | Press release

Annie Lennox launches global campaign for International Women's Day

  The Circle, a global NGO founded by singer, songwriter and activist Annie Lennox that uses the collective power of women to fight for gender equality, today launches a new campaign, #CirclesOfChange, to raise funds for some of the most vulnerable women and...more

01 Mar 2021 | Press release

Queen Rock Tour

BECOME A ROCK LEGEND WITH THE FIRST EVER OFFICIAL QUEEN GAME ON MOBILE.  "Be a Lockdown Rock Star!  No turning back !!!" - Brian May, Queen Play along with hits from the band's iconic catalogue Relive their classic concerts by touring the world and performing on...more

01 Mar 2021 | Press release

Jazz re:freshed announce SXSW online UK showcase filmed in the world famous Studio Two at Abbey Road Studios

The showcase will feature award winning tuba sensation Theon Cross who will also be presented by SXSW as a 3D digital avatar in a unique VR performance - a world first in music showcasing  Watch avatar creation video here  The...more

01 Mar 2021 | Press release

AIF issues 'final countdown' warning for Government insurance and VAT support to kickstart festival planning

  Independent festivals could be forced to cancel their 2021 events if they don't get Government-backed insurance and VAT intervention by the end of March.  Two days before the 2021 budget, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) warns the Chancellor: this is...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

GALA Festival returns to Peckham Rye Park

GALA Festival announces new dates and lineup for 2021 Taking place over two days for the very first time, South London’s much-loved house and disco fest will have a 5th birthday to remember GALA Festival 202131 July & 1 AugustPeckham Rye Park,...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Tony Wadsworth CBE announced as the new Chair of The BRIT Trust

Music charity The BRIT Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Tony Wadsworth CBE as its new Chair. Tony, a BRIT Trustee for 16 years and a hugely respected industry figure including for his tenure as Chairman and CEO of...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Better Noise announces promotion of Dan Waite to President as company expands its global footprint and ventures further into film

Waite Set to Oversee All Music and Film Releases Across the Company’s Global Offices, Including Upcoming Projects from Papa Roach, Escape The Fate, Mötley Crüe, All Good Things, and the Highly-Anticipated Feature Horror Film ‘The Retaliators’ Today, Better Noise Music...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

ADA Asia announces key senior appointments

Chiou Rei Min named Head of Greater ChinaJin Hwang appointed Head of Korea Tan Wei Keng will serve as Director, Business Operations   Warner Music Group’s ADA Asia has today announced it has further bolstered its team in the region with the...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ reaches one billion Spotify streams

The Board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, the first UK listed investment company offering investors a pure-play exposure to songs and associated intellectual property rights, and its Investment Adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, are delighted to announce that Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Ibiza Club Amnesia Announces Closing Party for 2021 // October 23rd

As the positive news begins to flow around the UK and EU, iconic Ibiza club Amnesia lead from the front by announcing its 'Inverse Season', starting with the always unmissable closing party on October 23rd. Sure to feature all the...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Liverpool Sound City 2021 moves to October

The organisers of Sound City have made the decision to move the 2021 edition of Liverpool’s famous showcase festival and conference to October 1 – 3. Tickets are now on sale for the celebratory weekend at, with all previously purchased...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Music Venue Trust Add Six More Grassroots Music Venues to the #saveourvenues "Imminent Danger of Closure" Red List

Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents hundreds of UK grassroots music venues (GMVs), has announced that 20 venues remain in imminent danger of permanent closure with 6 newly highlighted venues added to the #saveourvenues Red List.  While Pop in Hyde is...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Calling Europe's music managers

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL MONDAY MARCH 8TH FOR EMMMA - THE SECOND EDITION OF THE EUROPEAN MUSIC MANAGERS MENTORSHIP ACTIVATION PROGRAMME   Developed by the European Music Managers Alliance and funded in partnership with YouTube Music, the EMMMA programme provides an invaluable...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

UK Music urges Chancellor to "back British music" and deliver "sounds of summer" for music fans

  UK Music has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to back its new three-point plan to guarantee a summer packed with the best of British music. Unveiling the plan before the Chancellor's Budget, UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said the music...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Sound City 2021 moves to October

Rejjie Snow, The Lathums, Lanterns On The Lake, and Abbie Ozard among first wave of acts Tickets:   The organisers of Sound City have made the decision to move the 2021 edition of Liverpool's famous showcase festival and conference to October 1 –...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Music Venue Trust announce 20 grassroots music venues are still at risk of permanent closure

#saveourvenues #savethe20   Music Venue Trust (MVT), which represents hundreds of UK grassroots music venues (GMVs), has announced that 20 venues remain in imminent danger of permanent closure with 6 newly highlighted venues added to the #saveourvenues Red List.  While Pop in Hyde...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

BMG hires Rachel Menzies to expand Original Repertoire Services to media clients

BMG has announced the appointment of Rachel Menzies to the position of Senior Director Original Repertoire Services, in a boost to the company's music offering to media clients. Based in London, Menzies reports directly to Alistair Norbury, President Repertoire &...more

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

DCMS Committee: Chair calls on Chancellor to provide urgent support for festivals

  Chair calls on Chancellor to provide urgent support to enable opening up of festivals' sector DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight has urged the Chancellor to announce support next week to encourage more festivals to go ahead this summer. The Treasury had earlier...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Eight new presenters to join BBC Radio 1 on Fridays

Eight new presenters will take on BBC Radio 1’s Friday Early Breakfast slot over the coming months.  Dean McCullough, Rakeem Omar, Danni Diston, Sam MacGregor, Darcy Kelly, Alex West, Numi Gildert and Robyn Richford are the next wave of presenters set...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Len Phillips Big Band - Abbey Road Studios 20th March 2021

For over 30 years the Len Phillips Big Band has been entertaining lovers of swing music across the UK and around the World.  The 17 piece band, whilst recording a new album, will also be performing the first Big Band livestream...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Hospitality Weekend In The Woods reveals full lineup

Hospitality Weekend In The Woods are incredibly proud to announce the full wave of artists joining their debut festival in September. Across 8 scintillating stage hosts spread across beautiful Beckenham Place Park in south East London, this is already a who’s...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Creamfields 2021 Sold Out

Creamfields, one of the world’s leading electronic music festivals is the first UK festival to announce sell out when it makes its return this Summer, becoming its fastest selling show to date.  The award winning four-day festival which will be bringing...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Anton Powers joins the KISS Network

New weekend shows on KISS and KISSTORY KISS has announced that globally renowned DJ and producer, Anton Powers is to launch a series of new weekend shows across the network. Starting from March 5th, Anton will be kicking off the weekend every...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Record Industry Wins Double Landmark UK Court Victory In New Cyberlocker and Stream Ripping Piracy Cases

Following an online hearing, the High Court has ruled that cyberlocker and stream ripping sites, and a stream ripping app, infringe UK copyright The High Court has ordered internet companies to block them The two rulings benefit artists, songwriters, music...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

The British Music Embassy reveals SXSW Online 2021 line-up

35 acts put UK talent front and centre of renowned international festival   The British Music Embassy, SXSW’s venue for hotly-tipped UK artists, today unveils 35 artist showcases as part of SXSW Online 2021. The line-up reflects the UK’s reputation for outstanding...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Bauer Media Audio agrees to acquire Communicorp Group

Bauer Media Audio has today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Communicorp Group subject only to regulatory approval. Through this transaction Bauer Media Audio enters the Republic of Ireland and extends its audio business to eight countries, further...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Universal Music Publishing Group signs Julia Michaels to exclusive, global publishing agreement

  Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), a leading, global music publisher, today announced that Grammy Award-nominated artist and songwriter Julia Michaels has been signed to an exclusive, global publishing agreement. One of the best-known songwriters in music today, Michaels has written for...more

25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Sony Music Publishing Signs Kane Brown to Global Deal

Kane Brown and Kent Earls Launch Verse 2 Music as Joint Venture with the Company   Sony Music Publishing Nashville today announced the signing of multi-platinum country superstar Kane Brown to a worldwide deal.Brown has also launched Verse 2 Music, his own...more

24 Feb 2021 | Press release

MU and The Ivors Academy welcome evidence given by Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify to streaming inquiry

The MU and The Ivors Academy were pleased to hear three of the music streaming giants commit to a dialogue with artists and their representatives about how revenue is shared out in the current streaming system, shed light on major...more

01 Mar 2021

  • US DJ/producer 3LAU auctioned 33 unique NFTs for a record $11.7m (see Digital)

  • 2020 US recorded music revenues show 9.2% growth with streaming 83% of the total (see Analysis)

26 Feb 2021

  • Live Nation offers positive outlook for 2021 and beyond (see Business)

  • Billie Eilish documentary launches on Apple TV (see Digital)

25 Feb 2021

  • Spotify USA takes on $1.3bn in debt (see Business)

  • Merck Mercuriadis - "music's most hated man" (see Features)

24 Feb 2021

  • Streaming services appear at DCMS Inquiry session (see News)

  • Daniel Ek on how Spotify wants to be at the centre of creator monetisation (see Features)

23 Feb 2021

  • Spotify announce wide-ranging improvements, features and expansion; no plans for US price increase (see Digital)

  • Outline for return of live events announced (see News)

22 Feb 2021

  • Artists are finding better engagement and revenue via Peloton (see Features)

  • Government to consider 'UK creative industries export office' (see News)

  • YouTube Spaces to be replaced with online experiences and pop-ups (see Digital)

  • The music pie has grown, but the number of creators wanting a piece of it has grown faster (see Opinion)

19 Feb 2021

  • Sony Music’s Wolfgang Boss interviewed (see Features)

  • James Newman to represent the UK at Eurovision (see Media)

  • Virgin Music Label and Artist Services launched (see Business)

  • Beach Boys strike deal with Irving Azoff for music and more (see News)

18 Feb 2021

  • Big Hit Entertainment and Universal Music Group announce expanded strategic partnership (see Business)

17 Feb 2021

  • Government admits it is currently not negotiating with EU over touring arrangements (see News)

  • Merck Mercuriadis faces the future... and stares down his critics (see Features)

  • Mechanical Licensing Collective receives $424m in unmatched royalties from DSPs (see International)

16 Feb 2021

  • Failure to secure post-Brexit touring deal threatens careers of future music stars (see Comment) DCMS Committee to consider proposals put forward by the industry today (see News)