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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.

 

20 Sep 2021 | Press release

New awards to honour top UK music executive announced

A new fund to support young musicians and those interested in entering the music industry has been created in memory of pioneering music industry giant John Preston, who died suddenly in November 2017 after a short illness. 'The John Preston Memorial...more

20 Sep 2021 | Press release

Warner Music India signs Rika

Artist Is The First To Join The Roster Of Warner Music’s Indian Affiliate   Warner Music India has signed its first artist, Rika, as part of its ongoing efforts to bring Indian sounds to the rest of the world.  Rika is a...more

19 Sep 2021 | Press release

IKEA announces a new collaboration with Swedish House Mafia

  IKEA is teaming up with electronic music phenomenon Swedish House Mafia to explore the topic of music and creativity at home. The collection is planned to launch September 2022. Music has an important role in the home, no matter if you're...more

17 Sep 2021 | Press release

The Scottish Album of the Year Award announce 2021’s longlist for bumper 10th year

20 OUTSTANDING SCOTTISH ALBUMS ANNOUNCED VIA VIRTUAL ‘LIVE AT THE LONGLIST’  ARTISTS IN THE RUNNING FOR £20K PRIZE AND COVETED TITLE INCLUDE BEMZ, BIFFY CLYRO, LIZZIE REID, MOGWAI, TAAHLIAH, THE SNUTS AND MORE  MUSIC FANS GIVEN CHANCE TO ‘HAVE THEIR SAY’ IN PUBLIC...more

17 Sep 2021 | Press release

FUGA becomes first B2B distributor to offer immersive audio delivery & analytics

Immersive audio tracks from Dim Mak, Armada Music and Domino now live on Apple Music Also extends partnership with Mr Probz label, Left Lane Recordings   FUGA has announced comprehensive spatial audio support and automated delivery to Apple Music – the first B2B...more

17 Sep 2021 | Press release

Karoliina Kanerva named as Head of International, Warner Music Nordics

  Karoliina Kanerva has been promoted to the position of Head of International, Warner Music Nordics.  In this new role, she will move to Stockholm and report to Anders Lindberg, Marketing Director, Warner Music Nordics. The move is designed to strengthen and expand Warner Music’s efforts...more

17 Sep 2021 | Press release

SuperRare and The Mercury Phoenix Trust announce four new NFT artworks celebrating Freddie Mercury’s 75th birthday

Live to collectors worldwide September 20, 2021  Proceeds will benefit the non-profit’s mission to fight AIDS worldwide  SuperRare, the leading digital art marketplace, and The Mercury Phoenix Trust announce the release of four new 1 of 1 NFT artworks inspired by the...more

17 Sep 2021 | Press release

First Artists Management launches record label

The Composer and Music Supervisor talent agency expands its transatlantic business operations with new record label First Artists Recordings (FAR). The first release will be the soundtrack by Joe Wilson to season two of Emmy-nominated TV show Back To Life. First Artists...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Coalition Presents acquires music promoters and management company, Sucker

Long-standing UK entertainment company, Coalition Presents, has fully acquired music promoters and management company ‘Sucker’, in a deal which sees the company move into a new era of creating incredible entertainment. Director Luke Joynes joins Coalition in a full-time position.  Sucker’s...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Arlo Parks ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’ sees major sales uplift post Hyundai Mercury Prize win

Sales increase of +250% across all shortlisted albums   UK record labels association the BPI, which organises the Hyundai Mercury Prize, can today report a significant uplift in demand for Arlo Parks’ debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams following last week’s triumphant Hyundai...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Richard Antwi Scholarship announces second award

INCREASING REACH TO TWO FUTURE INDUSTRY LEADERS - RICHARD ANTWI SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCES SECOND AWARD IN PARTNERSHIP WITH UNIVERSAL MUSIC UK IDRIS GREEN-HOLDER IS SECOND SCHOLAR   The Richard Antwi Scholarship, in conjunction with the University of Westminster, announced today that it has partnered...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Atlantic Records UK announces launch of Signal >> Supply

New dance imprint to be led by Atlantic Records UK’s newly promoted Head of Dance Marketing, Tristan Parsons   Atlantic Records UK today announced the launch of SIGNAL >> SUPPLY, a new label imprint focused on discovering and amplifying the hottest emerging talent...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Dance Music Digital Collectibles Platform RCRDSHP Closes Multi-Million Dollar Seed Round

RCRDSHP, the digital collectibles platform for electronic music, is  announcing the close of its first investment round. Supported by some of the leading innovators and investors in the NFT/digital collectibles space including legendary NFT collectors Metakovan and Twobadour (via PortKey...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Danny Howard begins as host of legendary BBC Radio 1 ‘Dance Party’ show

Dance music tastemaker Danny Howard has taken over from Annie Mac as the host of the iconic ‘Dance Party’ show on BBC Radio 1.  Howard, who joined the station over a decade ago after winning their ‘Superstar DJ’ talent competition, took over the legendary 6pm slot on Friday 10th September, showcasing...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Keychange collaborate with TuneCore CEO Andreea Gleeson on gender equality hub at Reeperbahn Festival

TuneCore CEO, Andreea Gleeson announced as Keychange Ambassador alongside Reeperbahn Festival headliner Alice Phoebe Lou Believe and TuneCore sign the Keychange pledge to achieve 50% representation of women and gender minorities in their workforce Extensive programme of performances, resources and opportunities for...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Hipworth Launches DJEnerate NFT, a collection of 10,000 unique NFTs from the Electronic Music World

Carl Cox, Sven Vath, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati and Ricardo Villalobos among over 30 DJs featured Founded by celebrated NFT producer Hipworth and supported by 30 superstar DJs, world renowned brands from the electronic music industry and international television channel Clubbing...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

TikTok’s Paul Hourican highlights synergy with record shops

TikTok’s UK music operations chief Paul Hourican has highlighted the platform’s surprising synergies with physical record shops in a rousing keynote address at the Entertainment Retailers Association’s AGM. Just under three years after launch, TikTok has over 100m monthly users in...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Crash, Music Glue, Rarewaves and The Hut join ERA board

Leeds indie Crash Records, ecommerce platform Music Glue and online retailers Rarewaves and The Hut have been elected to the board of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). The results were announced at ERA’s AGM which has taken place as an in-person...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

David Bowie Estate & Warner Music announce landmark, career-spanning partnership

 Global Deal Sets WMG as Definitive Home for Icon’s Body of Work  New Pact Encompasses Five Decades of Bowie Music   Warner Music Group (WMG) and the estate of David Bowie have signed a global, career-spanning partnership for Bowie’s timeless recorded music catalog....more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Warner Music South Africa acquires Coleske Group

Leading Indie Record Label With Strong Live Business Joins WMG Family   Warner Music South Africa has acquired leading local independent label Coleske. The label, which is led by Arnold Coleske, together with his business partner Brendon Hargroves, and Paulo Azevedo, will...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Ã…sa Carild, former CEO of Polaris Hub, joins Utopia Music

Utopia Music has announced the appointment of Åsa Carild as Head of Platform. Located in Stockholm, she reports to Utopia Chief Data Officer Paul Gathercole. Carild will be heading the Utopia platform unit that provides consumption analytics and economics data for...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Electric Group announce NX Newcastle venue

Leading independent, Electric Group, to invest £1.5 million to refurbish seminal North East venue. Former O2 Newcastle Academy joins Electric Group venues including Electric Brixton in London, and SWX in Bristol.   Leading independent music venue owner, Electric Group, has revealed details on...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Cherry Red Records Sponsor AFC Wimbledon's new stadium

AFC Wimbledon today proudly unveils our new stadium sponsors - and one of the longest-running ground partnerships in British football. We are delighted to confirm our new home will officially be called The Cherry Red Records Stadium. The historic three-year deal...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

German music superstar Helene Fischer extends long term partnership with Universal Music Germany

Germany’s most successful female artist of the 21st Century, will release new album ‘Rausch’ in October   Germany's most successful musical artist, Helene Fischer, and Universal Music Germany, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world-leader in music-based entertainment, today announced a new...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Live music sector commits to reaching net zero by 2030

The UK’s live music sector has today launched a sweeping industry campaign to deliver climate action, as it sets out its commitment to reach net zero emissions by the year 2030. The campaign, fronted by LIVE Green - the sustainability arm...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

twocolors signs exclusive deal with Sony Music Publishing Germany

Berlin-based duo twocolors signs an exclusive publishing deal with SMP Germany   Sony Music Publishing Germany today announced the signing of songwriter-producer duo twocolors to an exclusive publishing agreement.Emil Reinke & Pierre-Angelo Papaccio, aka twocolors, recently rose to prominence with their viral...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Audius Announces $5 Million Strategic Investment

Audius Announces $5 Million Strategic Investment From Katy Perry, The Chainsmokers, Nas, Jason Derulo, Pusha T, Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures, Electric Feel Ventures, Martin Bandier, And More In a move that leaves no question as to the blockchain winner in the...more

16 Sep 2021 | Press release

Kim Bayley, CEO of ERA addressed the AGM

It was 2004 when I first took the reins at ERA having joined two years previously as Business Development Director.  Since then we have been through the decline of physical formats in the face of piracy. We have seen the disappearance...more

15 Sep 2021 | Press release

Rated Awards 2021 - Performances announced

MICHAEL DAPAAH ANNOUNCED AS NEW CO-HOST ALONGSIDE JOURDAN DUNN AFTER IDRIS ELBA FORCED TO PULL OUT DUE TO UNFORTUNATE ISOLATION CIRCUMSTANCES GRM Daily’s Iconic Rated Awards Return for Virtual Ceremony Thursday 16th September 2021 @ 7pm BST A celebration of the best...more

15 Sep 2021 | Press release

Round Hill Music - Acquisition of 30 song catalogue from Tim Palmer

  Provides the Company with exposure to Pearl Jam and Ozzy OsbourneThe Board of Round Hill Music Royalty Fund Limited is pleased to announce that the Company has acquired recorded music income and publishing rights to 30 songs from Tim Palmer,...more

20 Sep 2021

17 Sep 2021

  • CMA refers Sony's purchase of AWAL for an in-depth probe (see Business)

  • Warner Music Group adds David Bowie’s 21st century works to its catalogue (see Deals)

16 Sep 2021

  • Lucian Grainge on defying death, killer deals and taking Universal public (see Features)

15 Sep 2021

  • Lucian Grainge set for cash bonuses when Universal Music is admitted to the Amsterdam stock exchange (see Business)

  • Kanya King honoured at Music Week Awards (see News)

14 Sep 2021

  • US recorded industry reports strong H1 (see News)

13 Sep 2021

  • Plans for vaccine passports for entry to venues and clubs to be scrapped (see News)

10 Sep 2021

  • Milk & Honey expands into Australia and New Zealand (see Business)

  • Arlo Parks wins Mercury Prize (see News and Features)

  • Apple Music launches DJ mix technology to ID and pay rights holders (see Digital)

09 Sep 2021

  • CMA approves StubHub International Business sale to Digital Fuel LLC; closes viagago and StubHub North America merger investigation (see Business)

  • Round Hill Music Royalty Fund acquires Dennis Elliott Foreigner master income (see Deals)

08 Sep 2021

  • CMA warns Sony acquisition of AWAL could hurt artists (see Business)

  • What makes an artist in the age of algorithms? (see Features)

07 Sep 2021

  • Abba's 'Voyage' becomes Universal Music UK's biggest ever album pre-order (see News)

  • Government fails to specify exactly what types of venues will be impacted by vaccine passports (see News)