UK Music Report – How Much Money Is The UK Music Industry Worth? Pt 2

July 6, 2017
by David Agrella

Following up on the last post about How Much Money Is The UK Music Industry Worth, we’ll have a quick look at the live sector and how it proved to be a significant source of income for the UK.

This sector attracted a crowd of over 27 million in live music within the UK last year – earning £904m!  Surprisingly there was a £20m drop in comparison to 2014, which UK Music accounted a decline in grassroots music venues around London and the wider country.  Surprising as it is, over 750,000 of the total number of live music attendees  (including festivals, concert venues, and musical heritage sites) are considered to be overseas “music tourists” generating approximately £3.7bn of direct and indirect spend within the country.

Music publishing’s notable revenue totalled £412 million.  £119m of which was generated by music producers, recording studios, and staff. Trade bodies, managers and collecting societies – all defined as music representatives – contributed an additional £92m – which is incredible when you think what has happened to the record companies over the last decade.

In addition, the report brought to light the challenges of the ever-changing consumption market; over the past 4 years, paid  subscription streaming services (as Spotify, Apple etc.) has proved to serve as a great boost to the digital music economy that has balanced declines elsewhere in the market (a notable growth in value of £83m. between 2014-2015).

However, this new tendency would mean nothing in terms of growth and future success of the UK music industry, unless digital services provide fair payments to artists and rights holders.

The UK Music Chief Executive, Jo Dipple said “While YouTube and other similar ad-funded services remain a vital way for the music industry to reach music fans, the value gap between creators, rights owners and parts of the tech industry that rely on ad revenues over subscription and licensing income is too wide and needs to be addressed immediately.”

With this in mind it seems that the UK music scene has adapted really well to the lack of income from physical sales of CDs etc by people spending more on live music, however revenues from streaming are still pretty insulting compared to the money that online advertisers make.   All this has a knock on effect because it means that artists can’t afford to hire studios to finish off their songs to a high standard, or to employ mastering engineers – which pushes the industry into the bedroom and means that people will no longer be able to make a living from working in a recording studio.  It’s tough out there!

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