Here, There and Everywhere: Music On A Global Scale

UK Music's Parliamentary and Research Manager Hannah McLennan takes a wider look at how music and music workers from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales has a global impact. 

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In the fifth of the Here, There and Everywhere series, inspired by the report, UK Music’s Parliamentary and Research Manager Hannah McLennan takes a broader look at how music and music workers from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have a global impact. 

Much of what we looked at in Here, There and Everywhere was about how people travel between the nations and regions in the UK, but as the data shows the UK’s international presence is a key part of the story, with over one million visitors coming from abroad in 2022 to attend live music events.

International visitor spending is a big part of music tourism. International visitors generally spend more in the UK with additional spending on apartments or hotels plus at restaurants, bars, and shops over multiple days.

The UK’s biggest musical exports made a huge impact abroad in 2022. Harry Styles, Glass
Animals, Elton John, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran and Adele made in to the IFPI’s global charts for the top 20 best-selling singles of the year across all digital formats. More British artists than ever are taking advantage of the worldwide streaming boom, with data from the BPI showing 200 UK acts achieved over 200 million global audio streams in 2022.

The UK music industry has long held a prominent position on the global stage, with its strong history of influential artists and iconic venues. Post COVID-19, a renewed sense of adventure has captured the international travel market and our global presence has continued to thrive, attracting music enthusiasts from around the world to experience the diverse range of musical offerings the country has to offer.

The decision to host ABBA Voyage in London highlights how the UK is seen as a serious place for a celebration of music. The immersive concert experience, featuring digital versions of the Swedish pop group, has seen fans from across the globe flocking to the UK to witness this unique and nostalgic event. ABBA Voyage serves as a testament to the UK’s ability to host high-profile international shows and attract visitors who are passionate about music.

But it’s not just concerts and festivals that attract international tourists to the UK. All over the world, people listen to music from UK artists and form ideas of what the country must look and feel like. This helps advertise the UK as a great place to visit, study or even live, far beyond what the statistics can capture.

With UK artists in recent years estimated to have accounted for around one in 10 streams around the world (BPI 2020), the influence this has on music tourism and people’s image of the UK is huge.

Challenges still exist on the international stage.

Despite some of the fantastic studio options in the UK, the persistent struggles, including high business rates and lack of tax breaks, is causing some artists to leave for better serviced studios outside of the UK. Post-Brexit, EU touring has become more complex, with additional paperwork, costs and time added to a previously easy process.

Obtaining US visas for UK artists is increasingly challenging, limiting artist ability to perform in the United States a key, global market.

With Goldman Sachs estimating the global music market will grow from $92bn in 2023 to $151.4bn by 2030, there is enormous potential for the UK’s world-renowned music market to continue to flourish.

But fast-developing new markets in Asia, Africa and South America mean we are facing increasing competition globally. If we are going to maintain our world-leading status in music, the industry needs continued support.

To address these challenges, UK Music continues to push for a Music Exports Office, to facilitate collaboration, advocacy, and information sharing.

Continued support for successful initiatives including the PRS Foundation’s International
Showcase Fund (ISF) and BPI-administered Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) is
necessary to ensure sustained growth and international opportunities for UK musicians.

Read more about Here, There and Everywhere, the report on music tourism, here

Read more about UK music exports here.  

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