UK’s music streaming market to be investigated by competition inquiry

It has been found that over one third of jobs in the British music industry were lost during the pandemic, according to a new report by UK Music.

UK’s music streaming market to be investigated by competition inquiry

Over 69,000 jobs have been lost in the music industry during the pandemic, a new study has found. UK Music, a British trade body focused on the music industry, has found through arecently released a recent study showing that there were over 69,000nearly 70,000 fewer jobs within the music industry in 2020 when compared to numbers in 2019, in a 35% drop, mainly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of job security. The group have said that the UK’s music industry was hit “especially hard” by the virus.

The impact of the pandemic hit not only musicians, but also those working in music venues and recording studios, who the report said were worst affected. Live music venues lost out economically by 90%, according to the UK Music report, which was titled This Is Music 2021 and published on Tuesday. The report mentioned: "The music creators and live music sectors experienced the greatest decline -– the majority of those working in the industry are self-employed, and they have been hit especially hard by Covid-19."

Although manysome were able to get compensation from the government through furlough schemes, many workers within the music industry were not eligible. “This has resulted in thousands of music creators, crew and others leaving the industry for other sectors,” the report read, “Many are still committed to a career in music, but necessity has meant finding alternative sources of income."

 The industry’s workforce dropped from numbers of 197,000 to 128,000 in 2020. Prior to the pandemic, the sector had seen exponential growth. UK Music cannot predict how many of those jobs have returned this year, with venues reopening and restrictions being lifted.

The music industry’s economic contribution fell by 46% according to the new research, from £5.8 billion in 2019 to £3.1 billion in 2020. UK Music called upon the government to introduce tax incentives to mitigate the impact the pandemic had. 

Horace Trubridge, the general secretary for the Musician’s Union, stated: “The total loss of live work for over a year and the fact that the financial help offered by the government left so many out in the cold, has resulted in a huge loss of jobs and talent. With the live industry now having to deal with the appalling impact of Brexit on artist’s mobility, now is the time for this government to step in and provide realistic and effective support for an industry that was once the envy of the world and is now struggling to survive.”

Chair of UK Music and former shadow culture secretary, Tom Watson has said: “more needs to be done to remove the barriers to touring in the EU, boost UK musical exports and deliver more funding for music in education”, adding that it is “critical” for the government to take action in supporting the industry, to “protect a talent pipeline that is the envy of the world”.

UK Music chief executive, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: "The past 18 months have been exceptionally challenging for the UK music industry, with billions wiped off the value of the sector - but we are determined to look to the future and focus on recovery," he continued, In a year when we've seen just how important music is to all our lives, it's more important than ever that we take the necessary steps to protect, strengthen and grow the industry.” 

Nadine Dorries, UK culture secretary has said: "Now the priority is to ensure a strong recovery," she added, “the UK music industry is one of our country's great national assets, and I give my commitment that the government will continue to back it every step of the way."

Header Image Credit: "Voltage Recording Rehearsal Music Studio Bradford Leeds West Yorkshire" by Voltage Studios is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Ash Edmonds

Ash Edmonds Kickstart

A graduate of Music Journalism from BIMM Brighton – where he now lives – Ash has been writing about everything creative for the past few years. An avid audiophile, he spends a lot of his time searching streaming platforms, record stores and live shows trying to find his next musical obsession.

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