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UK live industry drops as music biz grows 

The UK live music industry has had a successful 2017, despite seeing a slight decline from its record high of £1bn gross value added (GVA) in 2016 to £991m, according to the latest UK Music Measuring Music report.

Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Rag’n’Bone Man helped the British music industry contribute £4.5m to the economy, a rise of £100m or two per cent from the previous year.

Music exports counted for more than half of that total, which has increased seven per cent year-on-year to £2.6bn across record sales, publishing, live and international revenues collected by performance rights organisations like PRS for Music and PPL. Export revenues from live were £80m.

Employment across the industry climbed by three per cent to over 145,000 jobs, with 91,000 of those working as musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists. The second biggest employer was the live industry, employing more than 28,000 people.

“I’m really proud of the fact that these figures show once again that when it comes to music, we in the UK are very, very good at what we do,” said UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher.

“These figures show what can be achieved when we choose to back the British music industry,” he stated, calling for further government backing to help “ensure we produce the next generation of world-leading British talent.”

The minister for digital and the creative industries, Margot James, added: “The report demonstrates continued sustained growth, with the music industry now contributing £4.5bn to the economy. Exports have risen to £2.6bn and the sector employs 145,815 people.

“Twenty-seventeen was a very successful year globally for the UK music industry. Ed Sheeran’s third album, ÷, was the biggest selling album of the year. The O2 in London was officially the most popular live music arena in the world. Five of the top ten most successful worldwide tours were from UK acts. (This year) is proving to be no different.

“We need to build on these achievements, and as the minister responsible for the creative industries I am firmly committed to doing just that.”

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