Music’s contribution to UK economy hits £4bn mark

UK Music has today published ‘Measuring Music 2015’ – its annual economic study revealing the scale of the music industry’s contribution to the UK economy.

Following an earlier report from the organisation back in June about the continued growth of music tourism in the country, its latest research shows how 2014 proved to be a buoyant year for music in general, with the sector now generating £4.1bn overall for the UK economy.

According to UK Music, the global recognition and success of artists like Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran helped recorded music exports rise 17% as British artists once again topped charts worldwide for much of the year. Live music revenues were also up by 17% year-on-year, while total industry employment now stands in excess of 117,000.

Here’s a summary of the other findings:

• The sector once again outperformed the rest of the British economy, with growth of 5% year-on-year (up from £3.8bn in 2013)

• The vast majority of the 117,000 are are individuals working in the ‘creative heart’ of the industry – composing, creating, recording and shaping its future. Musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists alone contributed £1.9bn

• Music exports generated £2.1bn in revenue. This is over half of the industry’s GVA (Gross Value Added) – well above the economy-wide ratio of around 30 per cent

• In 2014 one in seven of all artist albums sold around the world were by British artists, while five of the top ten selling albums were by UK acts.

• The live music sector saw the biggest area of growth in both GVA and employment in 2014 – a result of almost 26.7 million visits being made to UK live music events last year. In 2014, live music tourism contributed £3.1bn to the UK economy

UK Music chief executive Jo Dipple said: “2014 proved to be another hugely successful year for British music. 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.”

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale added: “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.

"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.”

Picture: Ed Sheeran and Elton John at Wembley Stadium, where rental company Major Tom put its new Optocore system to the test.