The question of how much money music rightsholders have to invest in artists and songwriters in the modern era bubbles up regularly, but now British music bodies the BPI and MPA have provided a new answer. In a joint report, they have claimed that in 2014, UK-based labels spent £178m on A&R, and a further £157.4m on marketing and promotion – with the total of £335m representing just under 48% of their revenues that year.
The report points out that the A&R spend was up 19% year-on-year. Meanwhile, the Music Publishers Association (MPA) claimed that its members invested £162m in songwriters and composers in 2014, taking the total spent by labels and publishers in the UK to £497m overall. The report is clearly intending to scotch a few myths, particularly the view that major labels are signing less artists. According to the BPI, Sony, Universal and Warner signed 156 new artists in 2014, up from 120 in 2013.