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(Credit: Ryan Arnst)

Music

New UK Music report reveals devastating impact of the pandemic on music industry

@SamWKemp

In a new report recently compiled by UK Music, it has been revealed that one in three music industry jobs have been lost as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The body, which was founded to represent the UK music industry, has laid out these worrying findings in the most recent edition of their annual report, This Is Music 2021.

The report states that 69,000 jobs in the UK music industry alone have been lost over the course of the pandemic, which began in March 2020. That year, the study revealed, employment figures plunged by 35%. In addition to these findings, the report discovered that the UK music industry’s economic contribution fell by a record 46% (from £5.8bn to £3.1bn) in 2020, while music exports dropped by 23% last year (from £2.9 billion in 2019 to £2.3 billion).

The report also found that revenues for live music almost entirely collapsed, falling by around 90% in 2020 after venues were forced to close, forcing musicians and people working in both venues and studios to seek other means of employment. Similarly, the report notes just how many self-employed music professionals were unable to access support from the UK government as they were deemed “not eligible” for the self-employment support scheme.

“This has resulted in thousands of music creators, crew and others leaving the industry for other sectors,” the report says. “Many are still committed to a career in music, but necessity has meant finding alternative sources of income.” Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, UK Music’s Chief Executive, has said that the report has provided all the necessary evidence for a swift government response, one that should aim to help the music industry rebuild and grow post-pandemic.

As if that wasn’t enough, the brains behind UK Music have also identified five areas of concern where they believe government action could help. Their suggestions include: providing tax incentives for the music industry to stimulate growth and jobs, taking urgent action to remove the barriers to touring the EU, implementing a permanent reduction on the VAT rate on live music event tickets, providing more funding and support for music exports, and boosting funding for music education and for the self-employed.

“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,” Njoku-Goodwin said in a statement. “Music matters to us all. And 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.”