In the third episode of the Musiio podcast, Will Page, former Chief Economist for Spotify and PRS for Music, shares his insights on the music industry and the economic factors shaping it. 

In the episode, learn about the paradox of vinyl consumption, how ‘glocalisation’ is fundamentally changing listening habits, and how Page’s start in the music industry can inform people wanting to get started in the music industry.

Listen to the full episode:

1. Music Copyright’s Record-High Valuation

In November, Will Page made the front page of the Financial Times online with his remarkable calculation of the value of music copyright: $41.5B. The novel approach captures the “reciprocity” of the industry, says Page. “It’s the biggest ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ industry I’ve ever seen.” 

Page believes his valuation fundamentally sets right a long-standing undervaluation of the music industry. “We’re not just a niche industry anymore... We’re not just the poorer cousin of the media verticals,” he tells Hazel Savage on the Musiio podcast.

2. Vinyl’s Resurgence and its Paradox

On the surprise resurgence of vinyl, Page notes its significant role in the revenue streams of British record labels – making up anywhere from 10 to 25%. But the popularity of vinyl exposes a fascinating contradiction: 60% of vinyl buyers don’t own a record player. Do people have a deeper connection to physical media? Do they conceive of vinyl as a physical expression of their fandom?

Whatever it is, Page anticipates further growth in vinyl’s popularity, driven by greater financial returns to artists and the recent expansion in production capacity, which addresses previous supply constraints.

3. Glocalisation: Winners, Losers, and Market Transformations

Exploring the concept of ‘glocalisation,’ Page highlights the rising trend of local artists dominating their home charts on global platforms. This shift benefits local acts who speak in languages other than English. Consumers also benefit from broader and more relevant musical choices. If those are the winners, the losers may be English-speaking acts. 

“This country hasn’t had a truly global popstar since Dua Lipa in 2017,” he says. “And it’s not our fault – it’s glocalisation.” 

4. AI as a Continuation, Not a Revolution 

“A little bit of historical context helps us understand where AI is taking us next. This is a continuation. This is not a revolution.”

With stem separation AI such as Audioshake, it reminds us of remix culture, which has generated colossal copyright value, remarks Page. The hysteria around generative AI reminds him of a Musicians’ Union campaign in the 80s as electronic dance music was taking off, called ‘Keep Music Live’ aiming to boycott dance music on the BBC. 

Other industries may offer a less alarmist perspective, according to Page: When GitHub Copilot story broke, it was “Armageddon for coders,” he recalls, “But coders today are four times more productive thanks to GitHub Copilot. So the pace you can go from a threat and opportunity is measured in weeks or months, not years.”

5. The Power of Persistence

Page’s journey into the music industry was one of incredible persistence. He worked in the UK’s Treasury Department under Gordon Brown. However, he was relentlessly interviewing with music companies who didn’t see a need for economists in their businesses. After spotting an error in an FT article quoting the chief executive of the UK collection society PRS, Page sent a correction letter. A week later, he received a call from the chief executive and, in short order, was made Chief Economist at the PRS. 

To anyone wanting to get into the music industry, Page advises: “Don’t wait for your job description. Create your job description.”

For more insights into the economics of the music industry, watch the full episode above.

To find out more about how Musiio can supercharge your music catalogue, contact

Share this story