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Report: Music’s £4.4bn UK economy boost

September 20, 2017

The UK music industry grew by 6 per cent in 2016 to contribute £4.4 billion (€4.95bn) to the economy, according to Measuring Music 2017, a major new report from UK Music, the umbrella body for the music industry and represents artists, musicians, songwriters, composers, record labels, music managers, music publishers, producers, music licensing organisations and the live music industry.

The annual economic study by UK Music and its members showed that the music industry continued to grow last year across almost every sector of the business.

Successful British acts including Ed Sheeran, Adele, Coldplay, Skepta and the Rolling Stones helped exports of UK music soar in 2016 by 13 per cent to £2.5 billion.

Millions of fans who poured into concerts ranging from giant festivals such as Glastonbury to small bars and clubs pushed the contribution of live music to the UK’s economy up by 14 per cent in 2016 to £1 billion.

UK Music measures the health of the music business each year by collating data from its partners about the industry’s contribution in goods and services, known as Gross Value Added (GVA), to the UK’s national income or Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Exports are part of this contribution.

The report also includes details of a UK Music survey to test the views of the music industry on Brexit that asked: What impact will the UK leaving the European Union have on your work within the music industry as an artist, producer or when managing talent?

Just 2 per cent thought Brexit would have a positive impact on their chances of work whereas 50 per cent feared leaving the EU would have a negative impact. One in five (19.5 per cent) believed Brexit would have no impact, while 28 per cent responded that they did not know.

Key points from Measuring Music:

  • Whole sector’s contribution to economy – £4.4 billion (+6 per cent)
  • Live Music – £1 billion (+14 per cent)
  • Recorded Music – £640 million (+5 per cent)
  • Exports (whole sector) – £2.5 billion (+13 per cent)
  • Employment (whole sector) – 142,208 (+19 per cent)

UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher welcomed the figures, but delivered a strong warning to tech giants to reward properly artists and creators.

“The headline figures in this year’s Measuring Music report are undoubtedly excellent news. The number of new jobs created in the UK rose at a faster pace than the rest of the employment market and our export figures shot up across the board. The outlook for the music business is better than it has been in years.”

“But we urgently need to address the ‘value gap’ on the new and exciting platforms that many people now use to listen to music. Unlike subscription services, those platforms often offer little adequate reward to the investors and creators of the music that drives so much of their traffic.”

“There is still too often a culture of denial from the big tech firms.  The way people listen to music may be changing, but certain fundamental responsibilities must continue.  It’s time for the free ride to come to an end.”

“Live music continues to thrive with a 14 per cent rise on the previous 12 months and the recorded sector has turned around with a 5 per cent rise in 2016,” noted UK Music chairman Andy Heath.

“But we face some crucial battles in the coming months.  We have a fight on our hands when it comes to closing the value gap between what some organisations currently pay for music and what represents a fair deal for our work and creativity. We need to make a strong and persuasive case to convince everyone to fairly value the huge range of music we create. We must ensure that we do all we can to continue driving that growth across all sectors of our brilliant business, which continues to provide the world’s best and most successful music.”

“It’s fantastic to see our world-leading music industry continues to grow and be a global success story,” declared Culture Secretary Karen Bradley. “These positive figures are not just down to the musicians and artists on stage but also the army of hugely talented professionals working behind the scenes. We want to build on this success by helping artists do business across the world and are working with industry to nurture the next generation of British talent.”


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