Stream On - The success of artists like Taylor Swift and BTS helped global music revenues rise to $26.6bn (£21.7bn) last year, the highest level since records began in the 1990s. The growth was largely driven by streaming, which now accounts for 67% of the industry's earnings. Last year, 589m people paid for a subscription, said trade body the IFPI, up from 523m in 2021.
But labels say income could be higher, and are pushing for prices to rise. "It would help if music subscription pricing could reflect the realities of inflation," said Simon Robson, president of international markets for Warner Music.
The UK's largest streaming service, Spotify, hasn't increased its prices since launching in 2009, with an individual subscription set at £9.99. Most of its competitors maintain a similar pricing structure. Warner Music CEO Robert Kyncl recently suggested that the US rate should rise to $13.25 (£10.83), based on the 2011 US launch price of $9.99, adjusted for inflation. "Music is undervalued, and this is not my opinion - there are actually numbers to back it up," he said. "If you take the US, the price that the user pays per hour of consumption of music is half of what they pay for movies and TV shows on streaming services. So right there, it's 50% undervalued today."
Eurovision Live - The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live in cinemas across the UK for the first time. Liverpool will host the event on Saturday 13 May, following two semi-finals earlier in the week. Organisers say the screenings will encourage fancy dress and singalongs. In-person tickets for the grand final at the Liverpool Arena sold out in under 40 minutes after being released earlier this month. Separately, it has also been confirmed that TikTok will be the contest's official entertainment partner for a second year.
John Travers of CinemaLive, who will distribute the event to cinemas, said the company was "delighted" to be working with the BBC to bring the contest to the big screen. "We want audiences to enjoy themselves, come along in groups, get your fancy dress on, and come together to enjoy this historic occasion on the big screen," he said.
Reprieved - The BBC has paused its decision to close the BBC Singers, after "a number of organisations" came forward to offer alternative funding. The group, which is the UK's only full-time professional chamber choir, was targeted by budget cuts shortly before celebrating its 100th anniversary. The proposal sparked a backlash, with 140,000 people signing a petition urging the BBC to reverse its decision. A temporary reprieve has been granted, as new funding models are explored. "I am confident that this does secure their future," said Simon Webb, the BBC's head of orchestras and choirs.
Wrong Again - Peter Pan Goes Wrong will return to the West End for a limited run this Christmas. The show will run at the Lyric Theatre from 23 November to 14 January 2024. This venue will be part of the show’s 2023 UK tour that opens in September at Richmond Theatre and is currently booking until February 2024.
(Jim Evans)
28 March 2023

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