This Is Music 2023

UK music exports deliver £4 billion boost to UK economy

The huge figure was aided by the return of international touring and the continued growth in recording and music publishing.

Sam Moore
  • By Sam Harteam Moore
  • 7 Nov 2023
  • min read

UK music exports generated £4 billion for the UK economy in 2022, a new report has revealed.

The findings have been published in UK Music's annual economic report This Is Music 2023, which analyses 'the huge economic contribution' made by the UK music industry in 2022, as well as 2023’s emerging trends.

The report states that the £4 billion figure in question was aided by growth in recording and music publishing, as well as the continued return of international touring following the pandemic.

Significant international sales and streams by British artists (including Glass Animals and Harry Styles), performances of UK copyrighted compositions and master recordings, songwriting, music publishing and live shows by UK artists overseas have all been cited by UK Music as contributing factors.

According to UK Music member the BPI, UK music export growth in new markets in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America could put the UK on track for exports of £1 billion a year by 2030. British recorded music exports rose in value by more than £100 million year-on-year in 2022 to a new high of £709 million.

The report also cites findings by the IFPI, which represents the global recording industry, which reveal that the global recorded music market grew by 9% in 2022 — driven primarily by emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

The UK music industry also contributed £6.7 billion to the UK economy in 2022 in gross value added (GVA), while total employment in the music industry was 210,000.

Speaking about the findings of the report, UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl said: 'The UK music industry and its exports have grown beyond doubt to hit new heights, which is fantastic news in terms of our sector’s contribution to jobs and the economy.

‘However, the competition for international markets is intensifying rapidly. The UK’s competitors are increasingly well funded and can often count on far more support from their governments. South Korea, Australia and Canada have invested heavily in music and cultural export offices to help grow their overseas markets.

‘The UK has several successful export schemes, such as the Music Export Growth Scheme and the International Showcase Fund. However, we need far more support – otherwise we risk the UK being left behind in the global music race and that would be a bitter blow for music industry and a missed opportunity to grow our export market.'

PRS for Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin added: 'UK Music’s latest This Is Music report shows the incredible £6.7 billion contribution the music industry brought to the UK economy in 2022. It also highlights the impact of our homegrown talent across the globe, with music exports reaching £4 billion in the past year.

'The UK music industry is a great success story, but that should not be taken for granted. We urge the government to take forward the recommendations in the Manifesto for Music, including on AI, copyright, exports and the talent pipeline to ensure continued industry growth and a secure environment for songwriters, composers and music publishers to thrive in.'

The This Is Music 2023 report has been published to coincide with International Trade Week (November 6-10). The Future Global Music Economy, hosted by the Department for Business and Trade in partnership with UK Music, LIVE, BPI and PRS Foundation, will take place today (7 November).

As part of this event, UK Music will be hosting a panel called Global Music Outlook featuring PRS for Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin, PPL CEO Peter Leathem and MMF Vice-Chair Kwame Kwaten.