The excellent news: the British music business’s contribution to the UK’s economic system in 2021 was up 26% from 2020. The unhealthy information: it was nonetheless down 31% on its pre-pandemic peak in 2019.
These numbers have been revealed by UK Music, the umbrella group for a number of sector-specific commerce our bodies within the nation, in its new This Is Music 2022 report. It used the publication of the figures to name on the British authorities to supply higher help for the sector so as to keep away from it collapsing, stressing how necessary it’s when it comes to the home economic system in addition to its export energy.
The British music enterprise – throughout all areas, together with recorded music, music publishing and stay – contributed £4 billion ($4.56 billion) to the UK economic system in 2021. This was up from the £3.1 billion ($3.53 billion) generated in 2020. Each years have been enormously affected by the pandemic, with restrictions making use of at numerous levels on touring and festivals.
This development, encouraging because it was, nonetheless fell drastically wanting the £5.8 billion ($6.61 billion) generated in 2019 earlier than the pandemic hit. This was an all-time excessive for the UK music enterprise.
With elements of the business being shut down solely, over a 3rd of staff have been laid off because the pandemic hit in early 2020. That yr there have been 128,000 jobs throughout the sector. As a part of the sluggish restoration, this determine rose to 145,000 in 2021. This, nonetheless, continues to be 26% down on the 197,000 jobs within the business in 2019.
Exports in 2021 have been £2.5 billion ($2.85 billion), up 10% from 2020 – however nonetheless down 15% from the £2.9 billion ($3.3 billion) reported in 2019.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief govt of UK Music, mentioned authorities help is urgently wanted because the business nonetheless faces a “main menace from robust financial headwinds”.
The report notes, “Whereas music studios have been allowed to stay open with limitations, the Authorities-mandated restrictions meant that stay venues spent a major quantity of the yr closed or working at restricted capability. This was a significant factor within the drop within the music business’s financial contribution.”
Njoku-Goodwin added, “It is important that Authorities acts to guard and help a sector that creates jobs, contributes to the economic system and issues to tens of millions of individuals throughout our nation. The brand new Prime Minister [Liz Truss] has mentioned she needs to chop taxes to stimulate development. If she is severe about this, then she ought to use the emergency finances to scale back the tax burden on the music business […] This may incentivize funding and enhance exports of British music, that are in danger as a consequence of growing worldwide competitors and points following the UK’s exit from the European Union.”
There was a triple menace going through the British music enterprise lately.
First, the nation’s departure from the European Union (aka Brexit) has made it more and more troublesome and costly for British artists to tour in mainland Europe.
Second, the pandemic noticed complete elements of the enterprise shuttered and mass layoffs, with expert professionals having to retrain and search employment elsewhere, that means there are severe employees shortages in sure sectors, notably stay music.
Thirdly, spiraling vitality prices are anticipated to hit companies onerous, notably small venues which have been struggling anyway and now face mounting uncertainty. The federal government has confirmed that the Vitality Invoice Reduction Scheme will cap wholesale vitality costs for all companies for a six-month interval from 1 October.
There are additionally big issues round the price of residing disaster within the UK, the place meals costs, vitality costs, hire prices, mortgage charges and extra are rising sharply, as is the speed of inflation. Folks might be pressured to severely reduce on their expenditure throughout the board, with leisure spending anticipated to be notably impacted on.
The knock-on impact right here will most clearly be on the stay music enterprise, particularly grassroots venues, and that is one thing the Music Venue Belief has been lobbying on for a number of years.
“We’ve got a music business within the UK that’s the envy of the world and a expertise pipeline that continues to supply international stars and a military of extremely expert professionals,” mentioned Jamie Njoku-Goodwin. “It is important that the Authorities works with us to guard and nurture the music business from the financial turbulence we face so we will pull by and create the roles and funding to make it even stronger than it was earlier than the pandemic.”