THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC www.musicweek.com
All the finalists of the 2012 Music Week Awards REVEALED
Beats By Dre COO Luke Wood on the importance of sound quality to the music industry
7 7 6 1 3 6
9 7 7 6 6 6 9
Music Week casts an eye back over 10 years of 6Music at the BBC
TROUBLING SIGNS FOR MARKET: ALBUMS DOWN 14% YEAR-ON-YEAR, CD SALES TUMBLE 26%
UK market losing ground on 2011
SALES n BY PAUL WILLIAMS
The UK albums market is waking up to a post- Adele hangover with sales having now plummeted by 13.9% on this time a year ago.
The huge drop is most acute in the artist albums sector where Official Charts Company data reveals 2.4 million fewer albums had been sold up until the end of last week compared to a year ago – an annual decline of 15.6%. At this stage last year artist album sales were rising, up by 1.8% thanks mainly to Adele’s 21.
However, more than a year on from the XL album’s release, the market is facing a stern reality check: 21’s record-breaking run was papering over an underlying, significant decline at retail.
In the past week alone the albums sector was down 19.2% on the same week in 2011. Virgin act Emeli Sandé topped Sunday’s chart with Our Version Of Events, shifting a total of 44,722 copies. This time last year Adele was No.1 with 180,493 sales - the sixth week in a row 21 had sold more than 100,000 copies.
Twelve months on and 21 is also 2012’s top album to date, although its sales of 289,517 since the beginning of January are less than one-third of what it had sold at this stage last year.
Polydor act Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die is this year’s second top seller with nearly 285,000 sales, while Ed Sheeran’s Asylum/Atlantic debut + is third, selling around 230,000 copies.
Behind the steep drop in album sales is the biggest annual fall yet seen for the CD, with the market down year-to-date by 25.9%. Around 10.5 million CD albums have been bought this year, a drop of 3.6 million on 2011.
More positively, digital album sales are rising to record levels, up 29% this year to almost 5 million units - but they fall far short of making up for CD’s decline. Downloads now account for nearly one in every three albums sold.
Meanwhile, the compilations market is holding up far better. The market is down by a fairly modest 4.6% in the year to date to around 2.8 million units: EMI/UMTV’s Now! 80 and Sony’s Be My Baby have both shifted more than 100,000 units.
The one-track download market has grown by a further 7.8% this year to 31 million units by the end of last week.
Hunt’s mind is made up on ticket resale
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has responded to two weeks of revelations over murky ticket resale practices – sticking to his guns on the issue of legislation.
Channel 4’s Dispatches showed that promoters including SJM and Live Nation were allocating thousands of pre-sale tickets to the secondary market through sites like Viagogo.
Last week’s Music Week reported that managers and artists were implicated alongside promoters in the process.
Many industry figures, including the CPA and Live Nation itself, have subsequently suggested that legislation capping ticket resale prices could curb the practice.
A group of execs and politicians led by Sharon Hodgson MP have also called on the Government to restrict resale profiteering.
However, when Music Week contacted Mr. Hunt following Dispatches, a spokesperson for the DCMS responded: “This Government has been clear that it intends to deregulate markets and not introduce more red tape. High prices charged by touts may irritate some people - but they have the option of walking away.
“It is also worth remembering that many people want to be able to sell tickets to events they can no longer attend, or buy tickets to events that have already sold out. We sympathise with those fans who feel they are being priced out of certain events by secondary sellers and would like to see the introduction of tighter operating practices by primary ticket distributors. Unless there is a demonstrable market failure there is not a case for Government action.”
AIM Awards back in autumn
The much-enjoyed AIM Awards will return to London in October 2012, Music Week can today reveal. Last year’s show saw big prizes won by the likes of Adele, Frank Turner and Domino founder Laurence Bell, who picked up the AIM Pioneer Award.
This year’s ceremony will take place at The Brewery in Clerkenwell on October 29, allowing the indie organisation to double the size of the event in response to demand. Indie champions Steve Lamacq (above)
and Huw Stephens will return as presenters, while 15 awards will be presented in total.
Chairman and CEO of AIM, Alison Wenham, commented: “The first AIM Awards (2011) was a fantastic event for the artists and companies whose hard work was finally recognised by their peers. We hope that as the awards show grows in size and stature, the wider industry will take note of the unique contribution the indie sector makes to the quality and diversity of the British music industry.”