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UK Music Report Reveals Economic Impact of Covid-19

Research by UK Music reveals the music industry contributed £3.1 billion to the UK economy in 2020, down from £5.8bn in 2019.

Published: 20 October 2021 | 11:53 AM
Photograph of a trumpet in front of a dark green background.
UK Music’s report measures the health of the music business by collating data about its contribution in goods and services to the economy. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The report, rebranded This is Music, also shines a light on the wave of job losses across the UK music industry. One in three jobs were 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.

In a sector where three-quarters are self-employed, many were not covered by Government support schemes.

UK Music’s report measures the health of the music business by collating data about its contribution in goods and services to the economy. It is based on surveys of people working across the industry – including MU members.

Urgent calls for action

Backed up by evidence in the report, UK Music is calling on the Government to introduce tax incentives and other employment-boosting measures to help the sector rebuild after the pandemic.

It is also calling for urgent action to resolve the problems facing musicians and crew working in the EU.

Responding to the report, MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge said:

“This excellent report from UK Music clearly demonstrates the severity of the damage done to the music industry by the pandemic. The total loss of live work for over a year and the fact that the financial help offered by the government left so many out in the cold has resulted in a huge loss of jobs and talent.”

“With the live industry now having to deal with the appalling impact of Brexit on artist’s mobility, now is the time for this government to step in and provide realistic and effective support for an industry that was once the envy of the world and is now struggling to survive,” he continued.

A year like no other

For this year’s report, UK Music commissioned Public First to survey the views of the general public on the music industry.

The survey found:

  • 75% of the public are proud of the UK music industry and its heritage
  • 74% say music is important to their quality of life
  • 59% believe music improves the UK’s reputation overseas
  • UK listens to 60 billion hours of music a year - the equivalent of 7 million years of music
  • 1 million people took up a music instrument during lockdown.

“Music matters to us all. And in a year when we’ve seen just how important music is to all our lives, it’s more important than ever that we take the necessary steps to protect, strengthen and grow the industry,” said UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.

Read UK Music's This Is Music 2021 report in full.

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