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Music industry worth £3.5bn to the UK economy, says report

- 19 February 2014

Infographic provided by UK Music. Click to enlarge

Infographic provided by UK Music.
Click to enlarge

The music industry is worth £3.5bn a year to the UK economy, according to a new report from UK Music, an organisation which lobbies on behalf of live music.

The report, written by economist Jonathan Todd, is the most in-depth so far and assesses the economic contribution of the industry in terms of gross value added (GVA), exports and employment. The findings challenge figures in the recent official DCMS creative industries statistics that finds that the whole sector was worth £71.4bn GVA in 2012, 5.2% of the economy, but which do not examine music as a stand-alone industry.

The figure £3.5bn is made up of £1.65 billion from musicians, composers and songwriters; £634m from recorded music; £662m from live music; £402m from music publishing; £151m from music representatives; £80m from music producers and recording studios; £1.4 billion in the value of exports; and 101,680 full time jobs in music.

Music has historically been difficult to categorise specifically because of the difficulty in disaggregating it from other performing arts, such as dance, theatre, opera, circus, comedy and variety. Difficulties in accurately capturing and reporting on the music industry’s large proportion of micro-companies, sole traders and freelancers mean that their contribution to GVA cannot be attributed to the music industry in official estimates, the report says.

‘This shows for the very first time exactly how much music ‒ in all its guises ‒ contributes to the UK economy in terms of GVA, exports and employment,’ said Jo Dipple, chief executive of UK Music. ‘It shows that British music is a substantial contributor to the economy.

‘Our music might be fun, but it is also a formidable asset to the UK. Government has said it wants to support the creative industries but until now they have not had the precise data to hand. They do now.

‘A realistic picture of the how the industry is made up will lead to a better understanding of what investment and regulatory environment is needed to help our industry thrive. It is a great UK success story, but now it can be even better understood and developed.’

See the full report here

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