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UK music industry worth £3.5 billion in 2012, says UK Music

By | Published on Monday 16 December 2013

UK Music

The UK music industry contributed £3.5 billion to the UK economy in 2012, according to new figures from cross-sector trade body UK Music.

The stats have been compiled by UK Music after being granted access to data held by the Office For National Statistics, in a bid to identify a more accurate figure for the ‘added value’ impact the wider music business has on the British economy. Such figures to date have either relied exclusively on stats from the record industry (which are easier to identify), or have seen the music sector lumped in with other creative industries.

The £3.5 billion in ‘added value’ constitutes the profits made and wages paid by the music industry. According to The Times, that figure includes £1.6 billion related to musicians, composers and songwriters, £662 million from live music, £634 million from recorded music sales and £402 million from music publishing. UK Music also reckons that the music business accounts for £1.4 billion in exports and employs 100,000 full-time employees.

While there are still plenty of estimates involved in reaching these figures, UK Music boss Jo Dipple reckons that these stats are much more accurate than anything that went before. She also suggests that previously released official figures that reckoned the entire creative sector contributed £4.1 billion to the economy are something of an under-estimate.

Dipple told the Times: “The sector has been poorly served by economic analysis. It has been poorly measured or underestimated. Our music might be fun, but it is a formidable asset to the UK. Government has said that it wants to support the creative industries, but until now they have not had the precise data to hand”.

UK Music plans to use the figures, which don’t include indirect revenues the festivals sector generates for the tourism industry or the revenues of digital music firms based in Britain, so are – Dipple reckons – still an under-estimate, to try to persuade policy-makers to treat the music business as a stand-alone sector at an international level, rather than lumping it in with the rest of the creative industries.