Sales of vinyl eclipse "meagre" YouTube returns, BPI reports
Sales of vinyl have grown in the UK for the eighth year in a row – and the industry now makes more money from selling records than it does from sites like YouTube.
More than two million LPs were sold in Britain in 2015, which the BPI says could be the most since at least 1994 – the year of Oasis, Bon Jovi and The Beautiful South.
This bumper year for British vinyl, which saw 2.1 million LPs sold raked in £25.1m, which overtook the “meagre” £24.4m that YouTube and similar video streaming sites paid back from its users’ streams. The BPI has meanwhile reported that streams grew 88 per cent between 2014 and 2015, with 26.6bn made in this country alone last year.
Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of the BPI, hit out at streaming platforms, saying “something is fundamentally broken in the music market”.
He said: “Dominant tech platforms like YouTube are able to abuse liability protections as royalty havens, dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists.
“The long-term consequences of this will be serious, reducing investment in new music, making it difficult for most artists to earn a living, and undermining the growth of more innovative services like Spotify and Apple Music that pay more fairly for the music they use.”
A spokesperson for YouTube told the Guardian that “as more advertising money comes online, this will grow to match consumption”.
They added: “For years, the music industry lost millions of dollars as piracy rates soared. Thanks to our rights management system, Content ID, rightsholders have complete control of their music on YouTube and can easily decide whether to have content taken down, or profit from it.”