Music By Numbers UK report reveals phenomenal industry growth

25 Nov 2019

It’s an exciting time to choose to study Audio Production or Music Business at SAE UK, after the recently released Music By Numbers UK report revealed that the industry is worth an amazing £5.2 billion to the economy, with the live music sector smashing through the £1 billion barrier. 

There are now 190,935 people working in the music industry in a range of roles and disciplines, and music remains a hugely successful British export worth £2.7 billion a year. 

SAE Liverpool Music Business lecturer Veronica Skrimsjö said: “I think the report is a great reinforcement of the very real value the music industry offers. Naturally it surpasses more than 'just' financial benefits, the cultural value is significant, but in a climate where the creative industries are under pressure this offers tangible proof of the added value. In regards to studying music business, the report highlights the career prospects for our graduates. The music industry is a viable and vibrant sector, and it's great to see such strong numbers.” 

   
 

"THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS A VIABLE AND VIBRANT SECTOR, AND IT'S GREAT TO SEE SUCH STRONG NUMBERS."

- SAE LIVERPOOL MUSIC BUSINESS LECTURER, VERONICA SKRIMSJÖ

   

 

The people making music for a living (including some of the talented Audio Production students at SAE) contributed £2.5 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy and contributed £1.1 billion to the total export revenue in 2018. A total of 139,352 people were employed in the ‘Music Creators’ sector in 2018, and employment growth continues to be strong as more creators switch from part-time to full-time work. 

It’s already been widely observed that the way people consume music has shifted towards streaming in recent years, and the Music By Numbers reports cites the BPI, which reported that there were 90 billion streams in 2018 in the UK alone. That’s up 33% from 2017. 

But it’s also worth noting that not all physical formats of music are seeing a decline as a result of streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music; vinyl continues its resurgence with sales up 1.5% in 2018 on the previous year (according to the BPI), in part thanks to the ongoing popularity of schemes like Record Store Day and National Album Day. 

Recorded music has done well across the board, with the third year of consecutive growth in label revenues, which have risen by over a fifth (22%) since 2015, up by 3% for 2018, with the rate of increase accelerating in the first half of 2019. The recorded sector contributed £568 million in GVA to the UK economy, which is a rise of 5% on 2017 figures, and £478 million in exports, which is a rise of 8%.

SAE Glasgow Music Business lecturer John Markey said: “This report shows, in a tumultuous time for business and politics, that the music industries continue to grow. With the increased usage of streaming the recorded music sector has again seen annual growth, reversing the seemingly inevitable downward trend from the beginning of the millennium, which can only be good news for the funding of tomorrow's stars. Publishing continues to impress, with a large workforce and increased revenues from increased international collections. Live music shows no sign of slowing down. The Music Industries are impressing against the odds, and evidence an exciting avenue of employment for future creatives and entrepreneurs." 

   
 

"THE MUSIC INDUSTRIES ARE IMPRESSING AGAINST THE ODDS, AND EVIDENCE AN EXCITING AVENUE OF EMPLOYMENT FOR FUTURE CREATIVES AND ENTREPRENEURS."

- SAE GLASGOW MUSIC BUSINESS LECTURER, JOHN MARKEY

   

 

The Music Representatives’ sector includes music managers, music trade bodies, collective management organisations (CMOs) and lawyers and accountants who represent music organisations or music creators, who contributed £148 million to the music industry’s GVA in 2018, while exports remained strong at £387 million. 

The Music Publishing sector contributed £459 million in GVA to the UK economy and £618 million in exports, as well as supporting around 1,363 jobs. Over the past five years, there have been several consolidations within the publishing world and many businesses have merged to form larger organisations, yet the number of employees have continued to rise reflecting the industry’s expansion.  

A total of 45,530 full-time jobs were sustained by music tourism in 2018. The average spend by overseas music tourists was £851 in 2018 - up by a healthy 13% on the £750 in 2017. 

SAE Glasgow Music Business lecturer Tamara Schlesinger said: “It is hugely positive to see the Music By Numbers figures -  in particular with regards to Scotland with the growth in music tourism rising to 1.1 million in 2018, which is a jump of 38%. These figures show that it is an exciting time to be involved in the music industry in Scotland and that there is scope for our students at SAE to grow their business ideas and work within the industry once they graduate.” 

   
 

"THESE FIGURES SHOW THAT IT IS AN EXCITING TIME TO BE INVOLVED IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IN SCOTLAND AND THAT THERE IS COPE FOR OUR STUDENTS AT SAE TO GROW THEIR BUSINESS IDEAS AND WORK WITHIN THE INDUSTRY ONCE THEY GRADUATE."

- SAE GLASGOW MUSIC BUSINESS LECTURER, TAMARA SCHLESINGER

 

Scotland saw the strongest growth in music tourism, from 800,000 tourists in 2017 to 1.1 million in 2018, London attracted the largest number of music tourists overall, with 2.8 million coming to the capital. These visitors will have been attracted by the range of festivals in parks such as Wireless and Lovebox. London also saw the greatest amount of spending by music tourists who spent £1.2 billion.

The capital saw an increase of 23% in the number of jobs, rising from 7,518 in 2017 to 9,252 in 2018. This was especially prevalent in the festival sector which saw employment rise by 74% to 2,889. 

A surge in festival ticket sales across the country saw the UK’s live music sector’s contribution to the economy grow to a record high of £1.1 billion, which is a 10% overall rise since 2017. A total of 30,529 people were employed in the live music sector in 2018, a rise of 7% since 2017 when the total stood at 28,659.

Last year 29.8 million fans went to live music events in the UK, a rise of 2% from 29.1 million in 2017. A total of 11.2 million music tourists enjoyed events in the UK in 2018 - up 3% from 10.9 million in 2017.

One thing’s for sure - these latest figures reveal there’s never been a better time to launch a career in the Music Business in the UK.

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