2013 Economic Research


£3.5bn the economic contribution of the core UK music industry

This is made up of: £1.6bn 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, recording studios; £1.4bn the value of exports; 101,680 full time jobs.

UK Music has released an in-depth report into the music industry’s contribution to the economy.  UK Music has assessed the economic contribution of the music industry in terms of GVA, exports and employment

  • GVA is the contribution by the industry to GDP

  • Exports are the component of this contribution generated by revenues from outside the UK

  • Employment is the number of jobs sustained by this contribution

This is the most exhaustive study to date on the economic contribution of the core UK music industry.

Existing estimates of the contribution of the music industry to the British economy are flawed. Government is reliant on ONS for the data they publish about the creative industries.  This is bound by international standards which represent music poorly.  As ONS data depends on these standards, data on the music industry is weak. Government cannot tease out the separate contribution of music and has to put music data together with other creative sectors.

Government therefore cannot report on the music industry as a stand-alone industry because of the weakness in the data.  The national accounts fail the music sector:

• The music industry is not categorised as a specific industry.  Music companies are widely dispersed across many SIC codes in the national accounts making it impossible to accurately analyse the sector.
• Even within the most relevant SIC codes that exist in the national accounts, music cannot be disaggregated from a much wider group which includes all of the performing arts (dance, theatre, opera, circus, comedy, variety) and visual arts (galleries, etc). 
• 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

Commenting on the report, UK Music CEO Jo Dipple said: “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.  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.”



Summary Document

Full Report

This research was carried out by Jonathan Todd on behalf of UK Music. UK Music would like to thank Jonathan for all his work and efforts during the project.


Tagged: soc, sic, music industry, economic value, business,
  • AIM (Logo)
  • BASCA (Logo)
  • BPI (Logo)
  • FAC (Logo)
  • The MMF (Logo)
  • Music Publishers Association (Logo)
  • The Music Producers Guild (Logo)
  • The Musicians Union (Logo)
  • PPL (Logo)
  • PRS for Music (Logo)
  • UK Live Music Group (Logo)

Copyright © 2013 UK Music, Savoy Hill House, 7-10 Savoy Hill, London, WC2R 0BU
Tel: +44 (0)20 3713 8444 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7306 4449 info@ukmusic.org @UK_Music