'This Is Music' is the flagship annual economic study by UK Music and its members, The 2021 report shows the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and outlines how the music industry can recover.
The impact was felt right across the industry as studios and venues were forced to close, and musicians and crew were unable to work. In a sector where three-quarters are self-employed, many were not covered by Government support schemes.
The huge economic contribution that music made to the UK economy in 2019 almost halved as a result of the pandemic – falling by 46% from a record £5.8 billion (GVA) in 2019 to £3.1 billion in 2020.
The pandemic triggered a wave of job losses across the UK music industry, which saw one in three jobs lost in the sector as the employment level fell by 35% from 2019’s all-time high of 197,000 to 128,000 in 2020.
Exports suffered a 23% drop from £2.9 billion in 2019 to £2.3 billion last year, according to the flagship economic study, which UK Music has carried out since 2013 with its members.
Source: This is Music 2021, UK Music
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, UK music tourism contributed £4.7bn spend to the UK in 2019, up 6 per cent from 2018.
Overseas visitors to UK shows and festivals totalled 845,000 in 2018, while there were 11.7m domestic visitors to music events and festivals.
Employment in the live music sector was 34,000 - up 11 per cent.
Source: Music by Numbers 2020, UK Music
UK music consumption was up for a sixth consecutive year in 2020, with 155m albums or their equivalent either streamed or purchased in the UK – an 8.2 per cent rise on 2019, with growth led by streaming fuelled by label investment.
There were an estimated 139 billion audio streams - up by over a fifth, with nearly 200 artists streamed over 100 million times.
UK artists led by Lewis Capaldi, Harry Styles & Dua Lipa accounted for 8 of the top 10 albums, but a new wave of diverse talent, each hitting hundreds of millions of streams, also helped to drive growth including AJ Tracey, Aitch, J Hus, Joel Corry, Mabel, KSI, Headie One, Jorja Smith and Gerry Cinnamon.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said the data show UK artists capitalising on the increase in streaming and highlighted the role of music in people's lives during the Covid-19 lockdowns. However, he warned that that pandemic had had a "devastating impact" on live music and called on the government to support live music venues, festivals and nightclubs.
Source: BPI release
The official Government statisticians count music within the broader category of 'music, performing and the visual arts'.
Using this classification, the category generated a Gross Value Added of £10.6bn for the UK economy in 2019.
Employment was estimated at 315,000 in 2019 (before the impact of the shutdowns and restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic which had a huge impact on employment in music because of cancellations of music festivals, tours and limits on nightclubs).
Exports from this category were measured at £8.31bn of goods and £971m for services in 2019.
The UK music market has overtaken that of Germany to become Europe's largest music market by revenues.
The combination of revenues from digital and physical music formats, performance rights and synchronisation (from the use of music in advertising, TV, film and games) grew by 3.1 per cent in 2018 during 2018, compared to a decline of 9.9 per cent in Germany and a flat market in Europe as a whole.
Among UK music artists, George Ezra has been one of the biggest breakout stars in the last five years, with his debut album going into the top 10 in multiple countries and its follow-up, 'Staying at Tamara's', the biggest selling UK album of 2018.
Source: Global Music Report 2019
UK record company trade income - revenues generated by sales and streams across all format and from syncs - rose 10.6 per cent to £839.5m in 2017, according to the BPI's 2018 yearbook.
The figures represent the highest rate of growth for the sector since 1995, and the increase was driven by 9.5 per cent growth in music consumption during 2017. This growth was due increases in streaming, where revenues rose by 41.1 per cent, and by the resurgence of vinyl sales (one in every 15 album purchases in the UK during 2017 was on a vinyl format).
Eight of the top 10 selling artist albums in the UK during 2017 were by UK acts, and UK artists topped the singles table (the UK was second to the US in the singles table of 2016).
Source: All About the Music 2018, BPI