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Economic impact of UK music up 5% in 2014, says UK Music

By | Published on Thursday 5 November 2015

UK Music

Cross-sector trade group UK Music has published the latest edition of ‘Measuring Music’, which sets out to assess the economic impact of the wider music business in the UK.

And according to the research, the ‘gross value added’ by the music industry in 2014 was nearly £4.1 billion, up from £3.8 billion in 2013, an increase in no small part aided by the success of British artists internationally. ‘Measuring Music’ reckons that 117,000 full time jobs are now provided by the music industry, the majority of which are people involved in the writing, creating, recording and performing of music.

The music creator community – so musicians, composers and songwriters – contributed £1.9 billion to the economy last year. The music rights sector was worth just over a billion (£615 million for recordings, £410 million for publishing), while the live sector saw the biggest growth from 2013, up to £924 million. Studios and music production contributed £116 million, while music representatives contributed £89 million.

International successes by the likes of Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Calvin Harris, One Direction and Pink Floyd saw export growth in the record industry alone of 17%, which is pretty impressive. Though just imagine what will happen to those figures once the Adele record is out. What if she tours? Every other UK industry will be able to shut down for the year.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Jo Dipple is here to talk about the 2014 figures. “2014 proved to be another hugely successful year for British music”, the UK Music chief said. “The sector outperformed the rest of the UK economy and grew by 5% year-on-year. Music contributed a staggering £4.1 billion to the UK economy, and exports generated £2.1 billion”.

She went on: “Now in its third year, ‘Measuring Music’ helps show the true weight of our commercial music sector and the scale of its global reach and impact. It also helps us articulate just how culturally important the British music industry and the 117,000 people it employs are to our nation. UK Music will continue to work with government for the best possible future for every part of our varied and stunningly diverse industry”.

Of course, beyond any backslapping within the music community, this report is really aimed at government, and demonstrating to political types the importance of the music business to the UK economy.

Welcoming the latest UK Music stats pack, the government’s culture dude Johnny Whittingdale noted: “Our artists continue to dominate the global charts – and shows from the Royal Ballet and Rod Stewart to the LSO and Status Quo, sell out concerts across the globe. In fact, many people around the world first learn about this country through one of our bands. Our music industry alone contributes more than £4 billion a year to the UK economy. It creates wealth and jobs as well as providing entertainment to millions”.

He went on: “UK Music’s ‘Measuring Music’ is extremely useful in describing the economic impact of commercial music. Its publication coincides with a roundtable meeting that I am hosting with a wide range of representatives from across the music industry to discuss how we can ensure that British music remains at the top of the charts. As Secretary Of State, I want to do all I can to ensure that British music continues to thrive”.