UK Music presents exemplary research practice to the Intellectual Property Office

Following the publication of Measuring Music, UK Music was invited to make a presentation to the Inaugural Conference of the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO’s) Research Expert Advisory Group’s yesterday, Monday 3rd November 2014.

This group of economists, academics, industry representatives and policy makers asked UK Music to investigate with them how the approach behind Measuring Music could be replicated in other sectors saying the work was: “An exemplar of best practice from the industry.” Measuring Music is an annual study in its second year which uniquely captures the economic contribution of the whole commercial music industry in terms of GVA, exports and employment.

UK Music Chief Executive Jo Dipple said: “Being invited to speak to the IPO about best research practice is a huge compliment for UK Music and Jonathan Todd. We undertook this annual study into the value of British music because we need a credible economic language to speak to policy makers in. The boost of describing Jonathan Todd’s report, Measuring Music, as an example of “best practice” is so valuable. And of course, we are happy to share our approach with other sectors so they too can match our standards.” Largely trade bodies report their economic contribution by referring to Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures but, as DCMS conceded earlier this year, standard industry classification and occupation codes (SIC & SOC): “do not allow the contribution of music to be satisfactorily identified in a separate category” (DCMS, Creative Industry Economic Estimates, 2014). The ONS, and therefore DCMS are constrained by these codes which are internationally agreed. Because of this constraint, UK Music undertook its own economic study with Jonathan Todd.

During the presentation, Todd talked to the audience about the complex nature of gathering data, in both defining the industry and coming up with a robust research model for this project. By examining the early stages of Measuring Music the audience was able to see that current classification codes are not suitable for the modern music industry, and therefore must be changed internationally in order for the ONS to accurately measure music. Todd also talked about other UK Music research including Wish You Were Here which looks exclusively at the live industry and its economic impact.

Economist Jonathan Todd said; “It is a great opportunity to present UK Music’s research today. Over the last two years we have been able to refine our data collection which has meant that we now have a robust programme of research, of which I am very pleased to be part of. UK Music members showed great trust with their commercial figures and special thanks must go to the 900 composers, musicians, singers and songwriters who completed an economic survey for 2013 activity, all of which fed into Measuring Music. In addition, this work has highlighted the need to review the International classification codes – this is a major achievement, the results of which will make a huge impact of the future of evidence gathering for music. The music industry is diverse and exciting as well as being a huge asset to the UK. I am pleased that my work in this field now gives the industry the proof they need to reinforce these claims.”

Tony Clayton, Chief Economist of the IPO said: “The IPO welcomes UK Music’s collaborative research on the economic contribution of music. This excellent piece of work meets both the IPO’s Standards of Good Evidence and National Accounts standards. “The methodology used has already been successfully adopted by other industry sectors. We know for example, that the computer games industry and wider information economy are applying similar methods. The challenge now facing other industry sectors is can you match this standard? “Using this approach makes the job of understanding what’s happening in the copyright based areas of the creative economy much simpler and more effective for government and stakeholders alike. “Congratulations on a real step forward in the world of evidence!”

Jo Dipple, CEO of UK Music; “UK Music has a strong research programme, which is delivering solid and credible industry data and evidence. This work relies on working with our own membership but it is also dependent on our external partners like the IPO and the people gathered for this inaugural conference. I am very pleased that our work is recognised at this level, and that Jonathan has been asked to speak. UK Music’s research enables us to talk to Government and policy makers in real terms about the value both economically and culturally of music to the UK. Measuring Music, not only acts as a notable part of our research programme but also highlights the music industry’s problems with the classification codes. This project has opened the doors for reform of these codes to take place which is a major accomplishment for our industry”.

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