Record labels vs. music publishers: Who does more for the UK economy?

Recorded music rights-holders generated £202m more than publishing for the UK economy last year – but employed nearly eight times as many people.

The figures from the annual UK Music Measuring Music report show that the British music publishing market employed 1,150 people last year.

Their employers generated £412m in Gross Value Added (GVA) for the UK economy – a measure of the value of goods or services produced by a country’s industry.

That works out at just over £358,000 per employee, with publishing’s GVA climbing by £2m year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the UK’s recorded music sector employed 8,600 people, and produced £610m in GVA.

That figure was down £5m year-on-year, and works out at just under £71,000 per employee.

The Live Industry trumped both sectors, with a GVA of £904m, but it employed 25,150 people – a per-employee GVA of just under £36,000.

Meanwhile, the export value of UK music publishing sat at £520m in 2015, up £1m year-on-year.

That was actually significantly higher than the export value of recorded music, which reached £360m in the year – up £28m on 2014.


The Measuring Music Report compiles its data with the help of the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It concludes that the UK music industry made a £4.1bn overall contribution to the UK’s economy last year – a figure which has grown 17% over the past four years.

The vast bulk of this figure was generated by ‘Musicians, Composers, Songwriters and Lyricists’, who jointly amounted to a £1.996bn GVA, across 70,700 ’employees’ – an average per person of £27,722.

This sector of creators also generated £946m in exports.

Unlike last year’s Measuring Music Report, the latest edition does not cover the A&R contribution to the industry of music publishers and record labels.

You can read it in full through here.


Music Business Worldwide

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