red double-decker bus passing Palace of Westminster, London during daytime

British industry body UK Music has published its latest ‘This Is Music’ report, analysing the economic contribution that music makes to the British economy.

It includes the claim that UK music exports generated £4bn in 2022 – around $4.93bn at current exchange rates – while the industry’s overall contribution to the UK economy was £6.7bn GVA [Gross Value Added – a productivity metric].

The £4bn export value figure seems like a huge leap, given that the last ‘This Is Music’ report estimated 2021’s export value as £2.5bn.

However, UK Music warned that changes in the way it collates data “mean that it is not possible this year to make direct comparisons with previous years”.

Fans of policy-lobbying back-and-forth will enjoy the announcement of the report, which includes two government ministers trumpeting the support they’re providing for the music industry, but also UK Music interim CEO Tom Kiehl saying it’s not enough.

“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,” said Kiehl.

“South Korea, Australia and Canada have invested heavily in music and cultural export offices to help grow their overseas markets.”

Kiehl praised the UK’s Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) and International Showcase Fund, but asked for “far more support – otherwise we risk the UK being left behind in the global music race”.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight