Will Page

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Will Page is the Director of Economics at Spotify, a Swedish based digital music service. To date, Spotify has launched in 57 countries around the world and recently announced that it has reached 40 million active users and over 10 million paying subscribers.[1]

For six years he was the Chief Economist at the PRS for Music, a non-profit collection society representing writers, composers and music publishers in the UK.[2][3]

Page graduated with an MSc in Economics at the University of Edinburgh in 2002. His Masters thesis ‘Germany's Mezzogiorno Revisited’ looked at the problems facing East Germany ten years after German Reunification. The paper was published by Deutsche Bank in 2003, and cited in 2005 by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times. [4]

He previously worked for the UK Government Economic Service at the Scottish Executive working for the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser and Department of Finance. He contributed to the Scottish Executive Economic Discussion Paper Series with a publication on ‘Infrastructure Investment & Economic Growth’.[5]

During this period, he established a moonlighting career in music, writing for the award winning publication Straight No Chaser (magazine) and working with the Brazilian composer Eumir Deodato.

His most notable contribution to the music industry is an annual report titled ‘Adding up the UK Music Industry’. Now in its second year, the report shows how much the UK music industry is worth and, more importantly, how it all hangs together.[6][7] This publication has received extensive press coverage in The Guardian, The Times and Financial Times.[8][9][10]

Page contributed to the campaign to save the new music radio station BBC 6 Music in May 2010. He presented two facts to the debate: (i) 6 Music is playing more unique songs and (ii) paying royalties to more unique songwriters than any other radio station.[11]

His most cited collaboration was with Eric Garland of BigChampagne titled In Rainbows, On Torrents’ asked whether the Radiohead legal free offering could compete with illegal free downloads.[12] He also challenged the popular Long Tail theory, showing that the demand for digital music instead followed a log normal distribution.[13]

He sits on the advisory board of music agency Sound Diplomacy.[14]


  1. ^ Yinka Adegoke (May 21, 2014), (magazine)%5d%5d Spotify Now Has 10 Million Paid Subscribers, 3 Million In U.S. (Exclusive) Check |url= value (help) .
  2. ^ Key appointments, PRS for Music, retrieved 2010-07-20.
  3. ^ "Interview With Will Page, Music Industry Economist". Techdirt. April 29, 2010. There's plenty that I disagree with him about, but plenty that we agree on too. There's so much in this interview that I'd like to dig deeper on, and I hope to do that in a series of posts in the future -- and some more back and forth with Page -- but I figured at this point it was worth getting our discussion as it stands out there for people to read. .
  4. ^ Will Page (June 13, 2003), "Germany's Mezzogiorno Revisited: Institutions, Fiscal Transfers and Regional Convergence" (PDF), Deutsche Bank .
  5. ^ Will Page (December 18, 2005), "Infrastructure Investment & Economic Growth" (PDF), Scottish Executive .
  6. ^ Will Page (August 4, 2010), "Adding up the UK Music Industry for 2009" (PDF), PRS for Music .
  7. ^ Will Page (July 20, 2009), "Adding up the UK Music Industry for 2008" (PDF), PRS for Music .
  8. ^ [1], The Times, July 21, 2009.
  9. ^ [2], The Guardian, August 4, 2010.
  10. ^ [3], Financial Times, August 20, 2010.
  11. ^ Will Page (May 20, 2010), "A Songwriter’s Perspective on 6Music" (PDF), PRS for Music .
  12. ^ Robert Andrews (August 1, 2008), "Radiohead Downloaders Preferred Illegal P2P To Legal Free", Washington Post .
  13. ^ Patrick Foster (December 22, 2008). "Long Tail theory contradicted as study reveals 10m digital music tracks unsold: Digital sales figures dent niche market theory". The Times. However, a new study by Will Page, chief economist of the MCPS-PRS Alliance, the not-for-profit royalty collection society, suggests that the niche market is not an untapped goldmine and that online sales success still relies on big hits. They found that, for the online singles market, 80 per cent of all revenue came from around 52,000 tracks. For albums, the figures were even more stark. Of the 1.23 million available, only 173,000 were ever bought, meaning 85 per cent did not sell a single copy all year. .
  14. ^ “New music export consultancy Sound Diplomacy launches”, Complete Music Update

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