UK performers and publishers now earn more from broadcasts and legal downloads than copyright income earned from CD sales, according to the latest figures.
The MCPS-PRS Alliance, which collects rights on behalf of UK songwriters and publishers, reported overall growth in income of 2.8 per cent over 2007, despite an 11 per cent decline in rights earnings from physical sales.
The figures indicate how earnings from broadcasters and online stores are displacing physical sales of CDs in terms of generating income for musicians and their publishers.
MCPS-PRS said that income from broadcasting and online sources increased by seven per cent in 2007 to £155.5m.
"The important thing is to be able to collect [revenue] in new ways and new places to make up for the obvious decline in CD sales," Steve Porter, MCPS-PRS Alliance chief executive, told The Financial Times.
The figures also show that just 0.01 per cent of the MCPS-PRS Alliance's 50,000 members, or about five people, earn over £1m a year from song copyrights. The vast majority (95 per cent) earn less than £10,000 a year.
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