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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.

 

10 Jul 2020 | Press release

Applications for Future Bubblers 2021 programme are now open

New, unsigned artists are chosen for Gilles Peterson-backed talent development scheme  Application opens from Friday 10th July - Friday 14th August 2020 Open to any unsigned artist based in England  Please apply here  The Future Bubblers team are excited to announce the opening of...more

10 Jul 2020 | Press release

Yoop Announces New Production Locations for Interactive Virtual Events on Yoop eSpace

Yoop, an entertainment company developing products to help creators distribute content directly to fans, has announced the global expansion of its interactive virtual events platform, Yoop eSpace.Yoop eSpace launched in Montreal, Canada in June, showcasing the platform’s advanced interactive functionality...more

09 Jul 2020 | Press release

Marley family to ‘reimagine’ Bob Marley’s One Love in support of UNICEF

Re-recording of iconic anthem will support UNICEF’s Reimagine campaign, a global fundraising appeal to respond, recover and reimagine a post-COVID-19 world fit for children. Members of the Marley family will reimagine the late Bob Marley’s iconic anthem One Love to support...more

09 Jul 2020 | Press release

Warner Classics launches the 3D Classical Collection, exclusively on Amazon MusicA playlist of 35 classical tracks from the London Philharmonic Orchestra available in Dolby Atmos Music on Amazon’s Echo Studio device

A playlist of 35 classical tracks from the London Philharmonic Orchestra available in Dolby Atmos Music on Amazon’s Echo Studio device   Warner Classics is launching the 3D Classical Collection – a spectacular playlist of 35 of the greatest classical tracks recorded...more

09 Jul 2020 | Press release

Eric Wong named President & CMO for Warner Recorded Music

Industry Leader Joining Company in Newly Created Worldwide Role Warner Music Group announced today that industry leader Eric Wong is joining the company as President & Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Warner Recorded Music, effective August 17th. Wong, who is currently Chief...more

09 Jul 2020 | Press release

Get ready for the International Booker Prize and Deezer to take you on an immersive journey into this year’s shortlisted novels

    Deezer and Booker Prize join forces to pair music with literature in new ‘Sounds of…’ series Hit play and let six dedicated playlists set the mood to the most anticipated stories of the year  Not sure which book to start with first?...more

09 Jul 2020 | Press release

Government endorse industry-led guidance for music production

Music production guidance published to enable professional music production to restart with confidence and clarity  Music organisations AIM (Association of Independent Music), BPI (British Phonographic Industry), MPG (Music Producers Guild) and the MU (Musicians' Union) are today announcing the publication of...more

08 Jul 2020 | Press release

The Ivors Academy and the Musicians’ Union warn that a new wave of buyout deals damage composers’ rights and careers

The Ivors Academy and the Musicians’ Union warn that a new wave of buyout deals damage composers’ rights and careers  The Ivors Academy and the Musicians’ Union have warned that a new partnership between Epidemic Sound and Adobe is part of...more

08 Jul 2020 | Press release

Wireless Connect soars with stand-out performances for fans across the globe

Live Nation expands partnership with MelodyVR and launches virtual concerts live from London’s O2 Academy Brixton    Following the momentous success of Wireless Connect, Live Nation U.K. and MelodyVR today announce Live From O2 Academy Brixton, a pioneering new live experience connecting artists...more

08 Jul 2020 | Press release

Commercial radio boosts news output in response to Covid-19

New research has found that UK commercial radio stations increased their commitment to news and information significantly in the months since lockdown began, broadcasting 25% more news bulletins on average that last 28% longer. These findings form part of a new...more

08 Jul 2020 | Press release

No Specific Support For Nightclubs Or Late Night Venues In Chancellor's Statement – Industry Is Falling Through The Cracks

Michael Kill, Chief Executive of the Night-Time Industries Association said:‘Whilst there is much to be welcomed in this announcement for many businesses, it leaves many in our sector beleaguered. Most of our members either can’t open at all due to...more

08 Jul 2020 | Press release

UK Music chief calls on Chancellor to extend VAT cut to ensure music industry is not left behind

Reacting to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer statement today, UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl said:“The music industry is in crisis and we need VAT exemptions, which would be a lifeline for the thousands who work in the music industry.“We will...more

08 Jul 2020 | Press release

Sony/ATV Signs Linus Wiklund to Worldwide Publishing Deal

Today, Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced it has signed the Swedish songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Linus “Lotus IV” Wiklund to a global publishing agreement. Linus Wiklund is one of today’s most in-demand hitmakers, having written popular singles including “Happy Now” by...more

08 Jul 2020 | Press release

Alexey Blinov named VP, Technology at Songkick

He will help spearhead Songkick’s transformation as the live music scene evolves   Alexey Blinov has been named VP, Technology at Songkick, the live music discovery service.  He’ll be based in London and report to Songkick’s Managing Director Bill Ashton. Blinov will oversee...more

08 Jul 2020 | Press release

Artist Partner Group taps Corey Calder as SVP, Marketing & Brands

Leadership Team Bolstered as Edgar Machuca, Olly Sheppard, and Devon Libran Promoted to VP Roles   Seasoned exec Corey Calder has joined Artist Partner Group (APG) as SVP, Marketing & Brands. The company has also made three strategic promotions to bolster its...more

07 Jul 2020 | Press release

Deaf Havana online performance

Sunday July 19 @ 8pm  Top 10 Album 'RITUALS' Out Now   As only one of a handful of British guitar bands to achieve a top 10 album in 2018 with their fifth studio album Rituals, UK 4-piece Deaf Havana toured extensively throughout 2019.  With 2020 unfolding as...more

07 Jul 2020 | Press release

Scottish commercial music industry task force established

Taskforce submits letter to Scottish government, calling for vital support for the sector Letter signed by artists, festivals, venues and more including Belladrum Festival, Biffy Clyro, Deacon Blue, Eddi Reader, KT Tunstall, Mogwai, Primal Scream, Riverside Festival, Scottish Event Campus, Simple...more

07 Jul 2020 | Press release

Universal Music Group announces global partnership with leading Indian music company, Desi Melodies

Multi-year partnership to further accelerate growth of Indian non-film music market Universal Music India to exclusively distribute Desi Melodies’ popular audio catalog and future releases worldwide Universal Music India (UMI), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based...more

07 Jul 2020 | Press release

Sony/ATV Signs Bobby Sessions to Worldwide Publishing Deal

Today, Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced it has signed the rapper, songwriter and artist Bobby Sessions to a global co-publishing deal. Bobby, among his many achievements in music, is well known for co-writing the Covid-19 benefit song “Savage Remix” by Megan...more

06 Jul 2020 | Press release

Sophie Ellis-Bextor launches her brand-new podcast Spinning Plates

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has announced her brand-new podcast ‘Spinning Plates’, which launches today and sees Sophie chat to successful women about the balance between motherhood and their working lives. Spinning Plates is part of the Acast creator network, the UK’s leading...more

06 Jul 2020 | Press release

Wide Days Announces Its Virtual Conference, Networking & Music Programme

  Wide Days is pleased to announce details of its virtual event, with a packed programme of panels, interviews, live performances, sector meetings, social activities and a range of networking options taking place from 23–25 July.  Supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland,...more

06 Jul 2020 | Press release

Hold Tight! PR relaunches as music marketing agency HOLD TIGHT

Digital marketing offering officially launches alongside PR and radio plugging services Rock and metal specialist music PR and radio plugging agency Hold Tight! PR has relaunched as HOLD TIGHT, a multi-faceted music marketing agency offering print & online PR, radio plugging, strategic...more

06 Jul 2020 | Press release

Reactions to the support package for the arts

UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl:“A £1.57bn support package for the arts is a huge step forward and should be a lifesaver for many music venues.  Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and DCMS Minister Caroline Dinenage are to be...more

06 Jul 2020 | Press release

Tom Meighan Leaves Kasabian

Kasabian have announced today that Tom Meighan is stepping down from the band by mutual consent. Tom has struggled with personal issues that have affected his behaviour for quite some time and now wants to concentrate all his energies on getting...more

06 Jul 2020 | Press release

AIF seeks urgent clarity on Government’s £1.57bn fund for the arts

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) calls for urgent clarity on the eligibility of the UK’s festival sector for the Government’s recently announced financial support package for the arts. While the Government’s announcement specifically earmarked a range of cultural sectors that...more

06 Jul 2020 | Press release

Sony/ATV Signs Worldwide Publishing Deal with Freddy Wexler

Today, Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced it has signed a global publishing administration agreement with the multi-platinum, award-winning songwriter and producer Freddy Wexler. Freddy is a veteran songwriter known for crafting iconic hits including “Be Kind” by Marshmello and Halsey, and...more

06 Jul 2020 | Press release

Imagine Entertainment and Warner Music Group form wide-ranging, multi-project strategic partnership

  Companies to Co-Produce and Co-Finance Slate of Music-Centered Film and Television Projects   Imagine Entertainment Chairman Brian Grazer and Warner Music Group (WMG) today announced a multi-year strategic partnership to co-produce and co-finance a slate of music-centered projects across multiple mediums, including...more

05 Jul 2020 | Press release

£1.57 billion investment to protect Britain's world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions

- Cultural and heritage organisations to be protected with £1.57 billion support package - Future of Britain's museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will be protected with emergency grants and loans - Funding will also be provided to...more

03 Jul 2020 | Press release

Fusing climate policy and culture - Music Declares Climate Emergency meets European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

Earlier this week, Music Declares Emergency and IMPALA had a video meeting with Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner responsible for culture, innovation, research, education and youth.  Music Declares Climate Emergency, the recipient of IMPALA's 2019 Outstanding Contribution Award, is an...more

03 Jul 2020 | Press release

Apple Music Launches New Artist Discovery Program Africa Rising

Omah Lay Is the Inaugural Artist and Cover Star of the Companion Playlist     Apple Music today announced Africa Rising, a new bi-monthly artist program and companion playlist geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising African talent.  Nigerian-born, Afro-fusion singer and songwriter...more

10 Jul 2020

  • Sony buys stake in Fortnite maker Epic Games (see Business)

  • Midyear analysis of the US market shows album audio consumption up; sales down (see Analysis)

09 Jul 2020

  • Samantha Moy appointed 6 Music's Head of Station (see Media)

  • Spotify: Launches in Russia next week; doubles down on fraud allegations against Sosa Entertainment; strikes podcast advertising deal (see Digital)

  • Covid-19: WHO acknowledges evidence on coronavirus spread - could impact events (see News)

  • Culture Secretary tweets VAT cut to 5% for 'attractions' including concerts (see News)

08 Jul 2020

  • YouTube rolls out new analytics hub for creators (see Digital)

  • Ivors Academy and Musicians’ Union warn partnership between Epidemic Sound and Adobe could undermine royalties for composers (see News)

07 Jul 2020

  • Composer Ennio Morricone passes away (see News, Features)

  • Imagine Entertainment and Warner Music Group strike deal (see Business)

  • The Weeknd and Lewis Capaldi lead half-year sales charts (see News)

06 Jul 2020

  • Government announces support package for arts sector (see News)

03 Jul 2020

  • New legislation means analogue signal for radio won't be scrapped until 2032 (see Media)

  • Deezer partners with Mexican broadcaster; now valued at €1.3bn (see Business)

  • Hipgnosis aims to raise £200m (see Business)

02 Jul 2020

  • 1,500 musicians sign letter to culture secretary calling for help for venues (see News)

  • BMG strikes deal with ITV Studios (see Business)

  • MelodyVR reports financial results (see Business)

01 Jul 2020

  • Music Venue Trust seeks 'urgent clarification' on building project policy (see News)

  • Podcast creators find networks own the shows (see Digital)

30 Jun 2020

  • Artlist raises $48m additional funding (see Business)

  • Ivors awards ceremony cancelled; winners announced 2 September (see News)

  • Half-year touring figures analysed (see Analysis)

29 Jun 2020

  • BRIT Awards date moved (see News)

  • Music Venues Trust responds to Government 'roadmap' plan (see News)