A new study says the European Union’s cultural sector lost 31.2 percent last year compared to 2019 earnings. The study, published by the European Grouping Of Societies Of Authors And Composers (GESAC), found that only the aviation industry experienced greater losses (31.4 percent).
The cultural sector—comprising music, radio, publishing, visual arts, cinema, video games, TV and the performing arts—outstripped even the tourism industry’s 27 percent loss. Speaking to the the Guardian, study coordinator Marc Lhermitte reported a 76 percent drop in music industry revenues. The performing arts was even harder hit at 90 percent. Video games was the only sector of the group to experience a rise in turnover at 9 percent.
An 8 percent rise in digital revenues in the music industry was dwarfed by a 35 percent drop in physical sales. Royalties gathered were also down 35 percent.
Lhermitte also said that independent artists and companies face “a real risk that their unbalanced relationships with global internet platforms” will further undermine already weak takings in the digital domain.
Employing around 7.6 million people in 2019, the EU’s culture industry was larger than the combined total of the auto and telecommunications industries. The study urges for public and private investment “to an extent that reflects its weight and importance.”