Saturday 17 March 2018

Call to protect UK music artists' 'astounding' export business post-Brexit

Adele's international success adds to British business.
Adele's international success adds to British business.

Britain's status as one of the world's biggest exporters of new music must be protected once the UK has left the EU, a new report has warned.

The global success of artists such as Adele, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran helped music exports rise by almost 10% in 2015, while contributing £4.1 billion to the UK economy.

But for growth to continue, the Government must put in place policies that safeguard Britain's access to other markets, warns UK Music, the body that represents everyone in the music industry from songwriters to record labels.

Its annual report notes that British artists were responsible for one in six albums sold worldwide in 2015 - but this kind of achievement needs to be protected in a "post-Brexit marketplace".

UK Music chief executive Jo Dipple said: "The UK needs to solidify its new post-Brexit place in the world and music will undoubtedly be part of the glue that does this.

"Our export profile is astounding which is partly why music, like sport, gives the world an understanding of our small country.

"UK Music's goal is to work with government to convince them to give us policies as good as the music we produce."

According to the report, 119,020 full-time jobs were provided within the music industry in 2015. The vast majority were individual musicians, composers, performers and songwriters, who contributed £2 billion alone to the economy.

Sales exports of recorded music were up 8.9% in the year, while export growth in the live sector was 35%.

Over 767,000 overseas music tourists attended live music concerts and festivals in 2015, generating a further £1.1 billion for the UK economy.

Responding to the report, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: "The government is working closely with industry bodies, such as UK Music, to make it easier for these artists to do business and is investing in music education to nurture the next wave of successful British artists, who we want to see perform across the whole world.

"But the value of music goes beyond the economic. People around the world get their first taste of British culture via our music, while for millions at home it is a source of entertainment and creative expression.

"Above all, it simply brings us joy. I want all our children, from every background, no matter what their aspirations, to have music in their lives."

The report also urges the digital streaming market to operate more "fairly" and to "value the music that creates business and traffic for the service".

It highlights the need for websites such as YouTube to offer proper payment to artists and rights holders.

"The debate on fair remuneration has never been more important if our future digital market is to continue to grow and prosper," the report adds.

"Sustainability and stability are critical for future growth."

Press Association

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