UK Music’s ‘This Is Music 2023’ report has revealed that UK music exports generated £4bn (€4.6bn/$5bn), while the industry’s contribution to the UK economy totalled £6.7bn (GVA) in 2022.
The UK music industry also employed 210,000 people last year.
The collective music body’s annual economic report revealed that UK music export revenue was boosted by a growth in recording and music publishing, as well as the return of international touring. Exports were aided by sales and streams of British artists outside the UK, as well as performances of UK copyrighted compositions and master recordings, songwriting, music publishing and live shows by UK artists overseas.
UK Music’s Manifesto for Music, which was published in September, called on the government to support music exports schemes, while also highlighting the need to remove barriers facing musicians and crew while touring the EU. It also called for a cut in VAT on admission prices and action to curb exploitative secondary ticketing practices.
“The UK music industry and its exports have grown beyond doubt to hit new heights, which is fantastic news in terms of our sector’s contribution to jobs and the economy,” said UK Music interim chief executive Tom Kiehl, who stepped up after previous CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin departed to join UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as director of strategy.
Kiehl continued: “However, the competition for international markets is intensifying rapidly. The UK’s competitors are increasingly well funded and can often count on far more support from their governments. South Korea, Australia and Canada have invested heavily in music and cultural export offices to help grow their overseas markets.
“The UK has several successful export schemes, such as the Music Export Growth Scheme and the International Showcase Fund.”
He added: “However, we need far more support – otherwise we risk the UK being left behind in the global music race and that would be a bitter blow for the music industry and a missed opportunity to grow our export market.”