July 4, 2022
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, has written to the Sunday Times editor in response to Richard Godwin’s article, “Is New Music Dying?”, which suggested that pop music had “taken on the unearthly pallor of the undead”, with young artists being pushed out of the charts and off festival stages by veteran musicians such as Paul McCartney because of the algorithms powering streaming. In his letter, Mr Taylor said that instead of holding young artists back, “streaming has in fact created exciting opportunities by empowering new talent and removing traditional barriers to reach audiences”.
Mr Taylor notes that it is true that last year 72% of the UK’s streaming market was made up of catalogue but said that “over half (54%) of this ‘catalogue’ were tracks from the 2010s, including recent big hits such as Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa. Just 7% of the songs were from the 1970s and 4% from the 1960s. Older music’s presence on the charts has only grown because we can now monitor listening to it via streaming, which was impossible with CDs or vinyl LPs. Streaming hasn’t made catalogue releases more popular, just more visible”.
Mr Taylor said that “ultimately the biggest streaming hits are almost all current releases, while many new British artists are clocking up hundreds of millions of streams just in the UK every year”.
Mr Taylor concluded that “[s]treaming is enabling new artists to make their music available instantly to the entire world. Rather than killing new music, it has given emerging talent a rich and vibrant platform, with more ways to reach fans than ever before”. To read Mr Taylor’s letter in full, click here.