Irish music streaming exceeds downloads for the first time

A report has found the industry employs over 13,000 people here

Irish music streaming exceeds downloads for the first time

The Spotify app is shown on a Samsung smartphone | Image: Lauren Hurley/PA Archive/PA Images

A new report on the Irish music industry has found that growth in streaming revenues overtook downloads for the first time.

The Socio-Economic Value of Music to Ireland was commissioned by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and produced by Deloitte.

It found that music contributes just over €700m to the Irish economy. While employment in music industry stands at more than 13,000 people.

The report also set out a number of recommendations to maximise the contribution of music in Ireland, including the development of a National Music Strategy.

IMRO says the findings indicate "a strong and growing music industry", which is contributing significantly to the economy.

The report also reveals that digital revenues, at €16.3m, surpassed physical revenues of €16m for the first time.

However, it also says that growth in streaming revenues was "particularly pronounced", and overtook downloads for the first time.

But IMRO says: "While these figures point to a successful and growing industry, overall recording revenue in Ireland is still well behind its heights of €160m generated in 2003."

"The music industry is under threat like never before, as platforms continue to allow access to creators' work, for inadequate return.

"Musicians are simply not receiving fair value for their creative output", it says.

An Apple iPod shuffle | Image: Richard B. Levine/SIPA USA/PA Images

Eleanor McEvoy is the chairperson of IMRO: "Music is part of our national identity, our psyche, and our way of life.

"Beyond its important social and reputational contribution, however, music is a vital economic driver - both directly and indirectly.

"I am pleased to present this report and to further shine a light on our members’ contribution - those music creators who write and perform musical works - to Ireland’s economy.

"If we are to continue to maintain and grow the success of Ireland’s music industry, and increase its economic and social contribution, now is the time for the development of a National Music Strategy."

Victor Finn, CEO of IMRO, adds: "A focus on copyright should represent a core element of this National Music Strategy.

"An environment that fosters growth for new and legitimate businesses, including platforms such as YouTube, SoundCloud and Facebook, while providing legal certainty for consumers, and ensuring that this is paired with appropriate remuneration for creators, is needed.

"Ensuring creators receive compensation for all uploads of their work is crucial to establishing a sustainable basis for the music industry going forward."