UK Music has published its Measuring Music 2016 report, which reveals that 2015 saw music contribute £4.1bn overall contribution to the UK’s economy. The report is an annual economic study that reveals the scale of the UK music’s contribution to the UK economy.
Over the last four years the industry has grown consistently despite difficult circumstances and a recession. During this period GVA contribution was up 17%, with exports and employment both up 11% outgrowing many areas of the UK economy.
Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley MP said: "Of all the albums sold across the globe last year an incredible one in six was by a British artist. The extraordinary success of artists like Coldplay and Adele added billions to our economy. We want to maintain and build on that success. The Government is working closely with industry bodies, such as UK Music, to make it easier for these artists to do business and is investing in music education to nurture the next wave of successful British artists, who we want to see perform across the whole world.
But the value of music goes beyond the economic. People around the world get their first taste of British culture via our music, while for millions at home it is a source of entertainment and creative expression. Above all, it simply brings us joy. I want all our children, from every background, no matter what their aspirations, to have music in their lives."
The live sector played a particularly important part in this growth, particularly around exports, which have grown by 90% during the past four years.
In 2015, a total audience of 27.7 million attended live music events in the UK, according to the report. In 2015 the live market showed a slight dip in its overall GVA contribution, predominantly attributable to a decline in grassroots music venues. It is essential that we must ensure the challenges facing this vital part of the music-ecosystem are addressed in order to secure continued growth and investment in live music. We need policies and investment to secure a platform for the headliners and chart toppers of tomorrow.
In terms of recorded music, five of the top 10 selling artists in the world last year were British artists, while 1 in 6 albums bought globally is by British talent.
The global recognition and success of UK artists like Adele, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran helped music exports rise again last year with growth up 8.9% from 2014.
The report also highlights how subscription streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and Deezer are now off-setting declines elsewhere in the market. Subscription streaming is identified in the report as a key to the continued success of the industry and the value of paid services jumped from £168m in 2014 to £251m in 2015.
UK Music chief executive, Jo Dipple said: “Measuring Music 2016 shows the strength and resilience of the British music market over four years. Distribution changes, trends may come and go, but all the while our music outperforms both in the UK and all over the globe. The UK needs to solidify its new post-Brexit place in the world and music will undoubtedly be part of the glue that does this. Our export profile is astounding which is partly why music, like sport, gives the world an understanding of our small country. UK Music’s goal is to work with Government to convince them to give us policies as good as the music we produce.”
UK Music chairman, Andy Heath added: “The value of this economic research is that it demonstrates both the strengths in our market, of which there are many, as well as weaknesses over time. The growth in revenues from streaming services reflect a well understood change in music consumption. However, there are services showing a huge increase in music consumption for barely a nudge in revenues. It’s in the wires behind the consumer experience, between artists, rights owners and services where fair terms of trade, or not, are established. Let’s work really hard to get those wires right. If we can do that, the unstoppable rise in consumption will be reflected in value back to the industry.”