We're reporting live today from the Westminster Media Forum – The UK Music Industry, 2011 and beyond.
Delegates from Parliament, the Government, regulatory bodies, the music industry and consumer bodies are debating the raft of new digital services challenging the music business.
Have CDs had their day? Is music streaming and the advent of 'cloud services' the future? Will iTunes remain the dominant player? These and other hot topics will be under discussion.
We'll update this news story regularly throughout the morning, and you can also follow the highlights on our Twitter page.
So far, these are the key points:
• Universal Music: we are moving from ownership of music to access, but UK is falling behind re digital services
• Average UK consumer spent £65 on digital downloads/streaming services in 2010
• Performing Rights Society (PRS): 2010 saw 3.9% growth in UK spend on music, but live music revenue declined for first time in a decade. 2011 saved by Take That tour?
• 75% of UK consumers still buy music on disc. Vinyl sales are up 60% so far this year. 40% of UK population haven't tried digital music service yet
• Apple iTunes accounts for 80% of singles market – is this 'untenable'? Meanwhile music industry is accused of being 'indifferent' to physical media
• Universal Music VP says cloud offerings – ie online music lockers – are just a service, not the future of the music industry
• Finally, someone has mentioned sound quality – but only for classical music. Depressing lack of focus on this point
• Fun fact: it takes as few as as 7000 music single sales to to get a No.1 hit in Spain!
• Which was the biggest grossing live music event in the UK last year? The X-Factor live tour
• Lord Clement-Jones is bringing the Live Music private members bill to overturn restrictive 2003 Licensing Act, which has cut the number of gigs
• PRS says music boosts UK economy: more than seven million 'music tourists' visited the UK last year, spending £1.4bn
• With more Apple App Stores than iTunes Stores worldwide, and Apps being near pirate-proof, expect more music album releases as Apps in the future
• A review of the national curriculum could see music teaching disappear as a core subject in UK schools: a 'disaster' for our music future?
• The UK is apparently the No.1 exporter of music per capita, yet banks see it as 'too risky' tolend to bands that want to sell their own music
• Featured Artists Coalition calls on record labels to allow sales of their music on their own websites, to break the Apple/Amazon duopoly
• Lots of calls for search engines to promote legal online music sources and demote illegal download sites. Good luck with that!
• Here's a different take on why illegal music/movie streaming is harmful: peer-to-peer file sharing estimated at 1% of global energy usage
• Interesting fact: good old physical media (and downloads) takes less energy to make/transport than music/movie streaming
• UK music forum wrapping up with debate re artist rights. The entire system seems a mess: who's making money from streaming?