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Tony Wadsworth, Chairman of the UK's BPI

The relationship between music and radio

Tony Wadsworth, Chairman of the UK's BPI talked about the fundamentals of every industry around the world - supply and demand. For him, the consumer demand for music has seen no sign of abating.

Consumers, more than ever, want a variety of repertoire on a myriad of devices. Supply, as well, he thought was also higher than it’s ever been. The breadth of products - CDs, streaming, downloads, subscription - and distribution from stores physical and digital to connected devices, tablets, broadband, 3G and 4G means that the industry is engaging consumers like never before.

It wasn’t always thought of like this. The rise of Napster at the beginning of the century seemed to herald that music was now going to be free and that the music industry would have to find different sources of revenue. This market change meant significant declining global revenues and the industry was slow to catch up - until now.

Indeed, it wasn’t the music industry’s Pressplay or Musicnet that was successful, but Apple and the development of their own iTunes-based ecosystem. To Wadsworth, this shift meant that the industry had to accelerate its speed of change to keep up with the technology giant.

This change now means that digital income is on the verge of exceeding 50% of total revenues. The ten year decline in revenue has finally plateaued and seems to be growing with now over 70 licensed music services in the UK.

Radio and record labels have one thing in common: people who love music and understand music. Tony Wadsworth feels that as long as this combination of skills continues, then in turn the excellent relationship between the two industries will remain.