UK music industry contributes £6.7 billion to British economy

UK music industry contributes £6.7 billion to British economy

UK Music has released its annual economic report, This Is Music 2023, which outlines the economic contribution the UK music industry makes to the economy.  

The report reveals UK music export revenue in 2022 was £4 billion – a figure aided by growth in recording and music publishing, as well as the return of international touring.

The UK music industry also contributed £6.7 billion to the UK economy in 2022 in gross value added (GVA) and total employment in the music industry was 210,000. GVA is the contribution the music industry makes to the GDP of the UK economy. 

Changes in the way UK Music collates data from the music sector mean that it is not possible this year to make direct comparisons with previous years. 

UK Music interim chief executive Tom Kiehl said: “The UK music industry and its exports have grown beyond doubt to hit new heights, which is fantastic news in terms of our sector’s contribution to jobs and the economy.

“However, the competition for international markets is intensifying rapidly. The UK’s competitors are increasingly well funded and can often count on far more support from their governments.

South Korea, Australia and Canada have invested heavily in music and cultural export offices to help grow their overseas markets.

He added: “The UK has several successful export schemes, such as the Music Export Growth Scheme and the International Showcase Fund.

“However, we need far more support – otherwise we risk the UK being left behind in the global music race and that would be a bitter blow for the music industry and a missed opportunity to grow our export market.”

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Every gig, stream and studio session in 2022 played their part in this stellar year for the UK's music industry - adding billions to our economy in the last year and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs.

"We want to keep up the momentum by maximising the potential of this world-beating industry. We are investing millions to boost music venues, helping artists crack overseas markets and supporting the talent pipeline, while also working with the sector to tackle the challenges and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence."

We want to keep up the momentum by maximising the potential of this world-beating industry

Lucy Frazer

Minister for Exports Lord Offord said: "British artists have a global reputation for creating, writing and producing amazing music, so it is fantastic news that UK music export revenue reached £4 billion last year.

“We are backing the UK music industry to thrive, helping deliver trade missions to markets like the US, Japan and India. We are also tripling funding for the Music Export Growth Scheme to ensure the next generation of UK artists and SMEs can continue to champion British music abroad.” 

Exports were aided by sales and streams by British artists outside the UK, performance of UK copyrighted compositions and master recordings, songwriting, music publishing and live shows by UK artists overseas.

Glass Animals’ (pictured) track Heat Waves, first released in 2020, became a slow-burn hit, leading to it spending five weeks at number one on the US Hot 100 in 2022. Harry Styles had a series of global hits from his third solo album Harry’s House, which included writing credits for British writer Thomas Hull (aka Kid Harpoon).

According to the BPI, UK music export growth in new markets in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America could put the UK on track for music exports of £1 billion a year by 2030. The BPI has reported British recorded music exports rose in value by more than £100 million year-on-year in 2022 to a new high of £709 million.

IFPI found that the global recorded music market grew by 9% in 2022. However, that growth was driven primarily by emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

UK Music’s Manifesto for Music, published in September 2023, called for more government support for music exports schemes, highlighted the need to remove barriers facing musicians and crew touring the EU, and called for a music export office, in order to ensure the UK maintained its leading global position.

UK Music released the new figures in its This Is Music 2023 report to coincide with International Trade Week, which runs from November 6-10.

On Tuesday November 7, the Department for Business and Trade will host an event titled The Future Global Music Economy in partnership with UK Music, LIVE, BPI and PRS Foundation.

As part of this, UK Music will be hosting a panel called Global Music Outlook featuring PRS for Music chief executive Andrea Czapary Martin, PPL CEO Peter Leathem and MMF vice-chair Kwame Kwaten.


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