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2019 U.K. MUSIC BY NUMBERS

The U.K. music industry grew 11% in 2019 to contribute £5.8b to the British economy, with export revenues up 9%, to £2.9b, according to UK Music’s annual report.

The economic study, Music by Numbers 2020, showed that the music industry continued to grow in 2019 across every sector before the COVID-19-enforced shutdown hit in early 2020. That’s thanks in part to the success of homegrown talents like Ed SheeranStormzyDua LipaGeorge EzraLewis CapaldiMabel and Dave

The live industry recorded the biggest growth, at £1.3b, up 17% over 2018, accounting for a 22% share of the £5.8b pie. Revenue earned by music creators accounted for the biggest slice overall (47%), rising 7%, to £2.7b. That’s followed by recorded music, up 9%, to £613m, or an 11% share; music publishing (up 14%, to £524m, or 9%); music retail (up 15%, to £463m, or 8%); and music representatives, like managers, accountants and lawyers (up 15%, to £170m, or 3%).  

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin celebrated 2019’s results but outlined the need for further support for the business to return to its former glory post-COVID. “2019 was a fantastic year for the U.K. music industry, and we were firmly on track to be one of the great British success stories of the coming decade,” he said. 

“Music by Numbers 2020 shows just how successful our industry was before the catastrophic blow of COVID-19 knocked it down and how important it is that we get it back on its feet. When the time comes to recover from this pandemic, our world-leading music industry can be a key part of our country’s post-COVID economic and cultural revival—but we need the right support to get us there.” 

Last year, employment in the U.K. music industry hit an all-time high of 197k—an increase of 3% over 2018. In addition to the industry’s direct economic contribution, music tourism contributed £4.7b to the U.K. economy in 2019—up 6%, from £4.5b, in 2018. 

This year’s figures, of course, won’t be so rosy. 

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