'Music makes an incredible contribution': UK industry valued at £5.2 billion

'Music makes an incredible contribution': UK industry valued at £5.2 billion

UK Music has published its Music By Numbers report, which measures the role that music plays in the country’s economy. 

The headline result is £5.2 billion for the UK industry’s contribution in 2018, up from £4.5bn in UK Music’s Measuring Music report last year.

UK Music highlighted successful British acts including Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Sam Smith, who helped exports soar in 2018 to £2.7bn. 

Millions of fans generated a contribution of live music to the UK’s economy of £1.1bn – up 10% on 2017.

UK Music collects data from partners about the industry’s contribution in goods and services (Gross Value Added) to the UK’s national income or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Exports are part of this contribution.  

Although Glastonbury Festival did not take place in 2018 when the data for the report was collected, the rise in the number of other festivals across the UK – including Scottish events Trsnsmt and Sunday Sessions – boosted the numbers. 

Employment in the live music sector rose by 7% to 30,529. 

The recorded music sector contributed £568m in GVA to the UK economy, up 5% on 2017. It also created £478m in exports – an increase of 8% year-on-year. Label revenues rose 3% in 2018, representing the third year of consecutive growth. 

DCMS will continue working with UK Music to allow this country’s music industry to grow and flourish

Nicky Morgan

UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said: “Our report reveals firm evidence that the British music industry is in great shape and continuing to lead the world. The figures are hugely encouraging and show that, as well as enriching the lives of millions of people, music makes an incredible contribution to the UK’s economy.

“Live music is now at a record high and continues to draw millions of fans from both the UK and abroad to our arenas and smaller venues alike. Music exports are another amazing success story with the best of British creative talent being showcased across the globe. 

He added: “However, this is not a time for complacency. We face many challenges to ensure we keep our music industry vibrant, diverse and punching above its weight. 

“We need to do more to protect grassroots venues by helping them combat soaring business rates. We need to nurture the talent pipeline, including by reversing the decline of music in education, so that children from every background have access to music.

“We need to make sure that creators get fair rewards for their content and are not ripped off by big tech. And we urgently need to ensure that the impact of Brexit doesn’t put in jeopardy the free movement of talent, just at the time when we should be looking outwards and backing the best of British talent right across the world”. 

Writing in the report’s foreword, outgoing Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “This year’s Music By Numbers report reveals the industry is worth an amazing £5.2bn to the economy and the live music sector is breaking the £1bn barrier. We are seeing exciting new artists like Sam Fender, Dave and Little Simz achieve great success and the figures in this report are testament to the outstanding creativity of our world-leading artists. 

“As this report reveals, music is a hugely successful British export worth £2.7bn a year and we need to work together to ensure this success continues. We know there are also some specific challenges for the music industry. From protecting intellectual property to safeguarding the grassroots sector and growing the talent pipeline, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will continue working with UK Music to allow this country’s music industry to grow and flourish.”


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