A right royal slump

Songwriters, composers and music publishers are for the first time receiving less in royalties according to the Performing Rights Society.

The organisation claims the figure has shrunk by 1%, blaming the decline in CD sales and the growth of illegal downloading.

PRS chief exec Robert Ashcroft explained: ‘The loss of high street outlets, the slowdown in physical music sales as well as the difficulty in licensing music usage online has meant for the first time we've seen royalties collected dip.’

Biffy Clyro singer Simon Neil told Radio 1’s Newsbeat: ‘The thing about PRS is for a lot of bands, it's the only way you make money.’

‘In our first six years of being in a band that was the only kind of income we had. It's the bread and butter for bands. It's almost your only guaranteed source of income.’

The PRS is now busy deliberating whether to adopt measures similar to the French Government in facillitating legal downloading sites.

French citizens between the ages of 12 and 25 can opt to receive a prepaid card that subsidises half the value of mp3 purchases. The idea is to get youngsters onto the straight and narrow path and wean them off the use of illegal sites.

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