Overseas Income Of British Musicians Doubles

Big hits from the likes of Adele and Calvin Harris helped British artists earn £188m in overseas royalties last year.

Ultimate Guitar

The British invasion was a term that referred to the influx of UK bands finding popularity in the United States during the 1960s. But, as new statistics from PRS for Music show, the term might as easily be applied in today's musical climate. The popularity of British music aboard has seen artists' royalties double in the last year.

The figures from PRS for Music, which collects royalties from 150 countries, have shown that UK songwriters and composers earned £187.7 million globally, which is up 10 per cent from 2010. Royalties are collected each time a song is played, and that figure has doubled from £88 million in the last decade.

The boom has been attributed to mega selling singles by the likes of Adele. Stateside artists such as Rihanna and Nicki Minaj who have been using British songwriters like Calvin Harris and Fraser T Smith have also contributed to the boom.

But the successes don't stop at hit singles. Live music incomes have also soared. While they equaled £2.2 million ten years ago, the figures are up to £21 million in 2012, with sold out concerts from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Muse and The Stone Roses being examples of success.

The increased revenue for British songwriters has also been because of the popularisation of reality television shows in the past decade, offering writers a new revenue stream. The use of music on talent shows such as "X Factor" and "American Idol" and the increased popularity of pop music based programming like "Glee" has seen income from TV raise to £60 million, up from £29 million in 2009.

The global revenues for PRS members overall went up to £630.8m last year, which is up from £611m in 2010.

45 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This news comes as a great example of what I meantioned on the article concerning Rolling Stones' concert and their ticket prices. It's like they do it on purpose in such a unhuman way. These major bands/record companys already made a big name decades ago, and so they know no other life then a very rich and wealthy one, yet at a time where economy is a very serious subject in almost every country, we are expected to pay more because obviously, the rich must become richer, and the easiest way of doing that is by obligating the poor and medium class' to pay more to see a bunch of people play music, while they tell us it's about the music only, and that money doesn't matter to them, except for the fact that it does because obviously they are the bigger victims since their gigantic wealth would go down by a fraction if they wouldn't impose bigger prices.
    I'd argue that Muse is one of the best British bandsnoight now
    "Dorje" man they are without a doubt an amazing upcoming British band.
    I agree with you on the 'amazing' part, they really are a talented bunch of guys, clearly know what they're doing and on top of that they're an immensely kind bunch! sadly, as much as i'd like to see it, i dont think they'll make it as "big" as Muse. I'd LOVE for them to bring good old rock n ****ing roll back to the masses though
    Bands right now*
    Id say Mumford and Sons, because they are a tad more mainstream then Muse is, their new album was 1rst on the Billboard, and Muse was 2nd ;
    @BjarnedeGraaf: I agree with the sentiment, but disagree with the reasoning. Love 'em both though!
    Fuck Muse, they are way overrated. Please give me your downvotes, I could care less.
    never understood the fascination either
    Huge sound, catchy melodies and guitar riffs, powerful vocals, a bit more progressive than your standard pop-rock band. Not saying you should like them if you don't, just listing why people do like them.
    The breathing though, I know it's weird but you can hear Matt Bellamy taking deep breaths really close to the mic all the time. He should really do that much further away, that is what really ruins it for me.
    The vocals in general I've found to be a bit love or hate amongst. Although you have to admit Bellamy has some power in his voice, especially recently.
    I'm not a fan either, I'm not the sort who would bash bands even though not listening to them. I have listened to a lot of Muse and have never been able to get into them. I appreciate they are big, a lot of people like them but they just aren't for me. So yeah...FUCK MUSE!
    I'd say Muse is the world's biggest band right now. I mean legitamite bands, not 1D and pop stars and not old successful bands trying to make a quick buck.
    They are the Queen of this generation, I honestly believe that.
    From what i can see, all muse does is ride the latest bandwagon, trend, fashion, or sound. If it ain't popular they don't seem to do it. I'd call that making a quick buck, hardly legitimate.
    Even from their latest album there's a bunch of stuff that, while had some not so subtle influences, I would hardly call "latest trend". Unless you're one of those who think the whole album was brostep.
    I'm sorry, but as someone who owns everything they've ever released and recorded, what the **** are you talking about? This bands reeks of originality. Except for the Queen influence and and Dubstep song on "The 2nd Law", just about everything they write is original and just new. Ever tried to learn some Muse songs on guitar? So much different than anything other guitarist might write or even think of. Ever heard the Plug In Baby or Hysteria riffs?
    You know what? Not to sound like a moaning muppet, but I'm amazed at how small that figure is. When you look at the amount of money getting pulled in by films and videogames, the amount that the music industry makes is paltry in comparison, despite having more opportunities to actually get in there. Example: The Avengers comes out, with your average cinema goer paying about 10 for a ticket to go see it. That;s it. Yet the film makes over 900 million at the box office, by itself. In contrast, Band X, a mainstream act with a large fan following, release their album in June of 2012. They spend the rest of the year touring to support it. That means they not only get income from fans spending 5-10 buying the album, but also from fans paying 20-60 for a gig ticket, as well as 10-30 buying a T-shirt at the gig. Whereas a film like The Avengers only has one income avenue to make money, the 10 cinema ticket (at least, until the DVD comes out, but studios generally don't rely on DVD sales to gauge success), bands can rely on albums, gig tickets and merchandise to make money. And yet the music industry continually falls far behind the film industry and the gaming industry in terms of how much it posts in profits. Think about it- 187 million is about $300 million, give or take. That's what a medium sized, average blockbuster would make at the box office over the summer. Has it really got to the point that the British music industry is worth about the same as something like Battleship, or Clash Of The Titans? That's pretty depressing.
    Why are we comparing two completely differently forms of media again? Just because they're both popular? Okay, here we go. You're forgetting how much money, personnel and hard work is put into films - from writing, to acting, to directing, to scoring, to photography, art direction, editing, sound engineering, special effects, crew work and then marketing etc and so forth (and as Kurosawa films have shown us, holy shit yes making films can be dangerous). Just because you can name two big-budget films that have no artistic merit getting a lot of money, doesn't mean that you should reflect that impression on the entire industry. The studio behind Battleship paid $209 million to make that film, and that's $125 million for Clash of the Titans. Now, the reason it can't be compared is that films offer you an experience you don't usually get from pirating - cinema - and even when the DVDs are out, people buy them for extras like director commentary, different cuts, artwork etc. All that, as opposed to a CD, which is no different than a click of a button online (for the lazy, uninspired bands when it comes to marketing - not those who are working around piracy, and surprisingly those ones usually don't mind it). So the reason the film industry is doing so well is because they view piracy as a competition, and try to out-do it (just like any two legitimate companies would) by offering us additional services and experiences, as opposed to miserably try and make people pretend it doesn't exist by fining the consumer...a lot. P.S. Film also combines a lot of skills, like literature, photography, composing and acting - so when you essentially package a story, a composition, skillful camera work and theater into something, you're likely to be successful. So again, two completely different forms of media.
    Yes, but you forgot that a movie is shown a few times a day, and that's only in one cinema. Cities have a bunch of cinemas that play this movie a few times a day, every day for the next month-two or so, whereas, if band X plays D.C. venue, it can only play it once in a day, at one place, and they probably won't be playing there again tomorrow. DVD sales of movies and CD sales of music are pretty much the same and they don't bring that much money to the authors. I do agree with you. It's sad that some no-brain movie outdoes entire British music industry, but that's just how it goes. World sucks.
    What-what?! I thought piracy was destroying the music industry, and I here I read Brit incomes have doubled. I guess pirates don't like British music. Or maybe...
    This is also a thing for underground metal acts. I read a facebook post from the Ocean Collective stating that their venues in France (they're a German band) and Switzerland garnered them more cash per band member for a smaller audiance than in the UK, and they also got the plasma TV/buffet/place to stay gubbins. But in the UK, they got a tenner split between 6 members, while the venue operators wanted them out as quick as possible.
    Muse really are the best british band to be doing well overseas but unfortunately mumford and sons and adele are more mainstream and are doing better :/
    Holy crap, so many Muse fanatics! I never saw the attraction in them. Aside from the occasional great riff (New Born, etc) then I always found their songs to lack musical and lyrical depth. Most of his lyrical rhythms seem to be long held notes and live guitar 'solos' consist of fuzz/khaos pad FX. Stick them on a stage with no lighting/stage show next to another big rock band in the same setting and I reckon their show would be absolutely dull.
    nah, i saw them at a smallish gig a few years ago. very minimal lighting, and the only stage production was their big balloon things at the end. otherwise, a very basic rock and roll show, but they still killed it. big sounding songs, and a stage presence to match. the other stuff is just a bonus when they do big gigs. i'm not the biggest muse fan, can totally take or leave their last two albums, but i do stand by their live shows.
    Actually I don't dislike them as much as I made out then. I bought the Haarp album because I thought they sounded ace. Song to song I'm not a fan- they kinda get a bit dull after a couple of songs but I do like the hits. I guess performance wise, because I'm more into the classic stuff then all the FX based solos and stuff just doesn't appeal to me. His skills as a guitarist are massively overrated. It just frustrates me how people (Muse fanatics) big them up to be better than they actually are.
    Well you don't get to be one of the biggest bands in the world with just modest praise, you're gonna pick up some fanatics there. If you don't like FX based stuff then yeah, Muse probably won't appeal to you much as they are pretty modern. See some of their performances anywhere between 1999-2002 to see how they do with no lighting though. They can definitely do some good gigs without lasers everywhere
    Muse are amazing live if you see them and i never tend to get boored of them because each album is so different from the one before you have a song for evey mood, some songs are a bit of a let down, i belong to you, etc they arent perfect but who is?? muse are the highlight certainly of the british music industry if not the rock industry at the moment
    That's interesting point of view, to think about the national income from bands, and the impacts on artists live level... Even comparisons with other countries can be interesting! SO MUCH NUMBERS!!!