U.K. Music Industry Devastated by COVID-19 Impact, Says Report


The U.K. music industry enjoyed a robust 2019, but 2020 has understandably been severely impacted due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report commissioned by industry body U.K. Music.

The report, titled “Music By Numbers 2020,” monitors the impact of COVID-19 during 2020, and concludes that up to 85% of live revenue will be lost, as revenues have been close to zero since March, when venues shuttered and concerts and music festivals were canceled.

Further, according to a survey conducted by U.K. Music, 65% of music creators’ income will be lost this year, rising to over 80% for those most dependent on live performance and recording studio work. For these performers, many have seen their income reduce to zero since March, the report says.

The sobering 2020 data arrives on the back of stellar 2019 numbers. In 2019, the U.K. music industry contributed £5.8 billion ($7.7 billion) to the U.K. economy, an 11% increase from £5.2 billion ($6.9 billion) in 2018. It generated £2.9 billion ($3.8 billion) in exports, an 9% increase from £2.7 billion ($3.5 billion) in 2018. Employment rose by 3% to 197,168 in 2019 from 190,935 in 2018.

Music creators contributed £2.7 billion ($3.5 billion) in gross value added to the U.K. economy in 2019, and are also significant exporters, contributing £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) in exports, the report states.

The report names artists, songwriters and producers such as Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Dave, The 1975, Lewis Capaldi, Carla Marie Williams, Fraser T. Smith, Jin Jin and Paul Epworth among the contributors.

U.K. Music remains bullish about future outlook. U.K. Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin 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.”

Writing in the report’s introduction, U.K. minister for digital and culture Caroline Dinenage, said: “We know what an immensely tough year 2020 has been for the music industry as a result of COVID-19, which has presented significant challenges for the sector. That is why the government stepped in with an unprecedented £1.57 billion [$1.9 billion] Culture Recovery Fund to help the sector weather the impact of coronavirus and protect music venues, festivals, and our vital cultural assets.”

“I am convinced we have the people, the drive and determination to fire up our industry once more and become a key part of our country’s post-COVID-19 economic and cultural revival,” Njoku-Goodwin added.





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