The UK’s music exports generated £4bn in 2022, following a return to international touring, while the wider industry’s contribution to the UK economy was £6.7 billion gross value added (GVA), according to UK Music’s This Is Music report published today.

The music industry body’s annual economic report states that live show attendance reached an all-time high last year with 37 million people generating ticket revenue, ancillary spending at venues and merchandise sales. According to the report, total UK music industry employment “rebounded” in 2022 to 210,000.

The This Is Music 2023 report, which outlines the huge economic contribution the UK music industry makes to the economy, offers an analysis of 2022, emerging trends in 2023, and case studies – including one from Glass Animals’ manager.

UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl said, “The UK music industry and its exports have grown beyond doubt to hit new heights, which is fantastic news in terms of our sector’s contribution to jobs and the economy.

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

“The UK has several successful export schemes, such as the Music Export Growth Scheme and the International Showcase Fund.

“However, we need far more support – otherwise we risk the UK being left behind in the global music race and that would be a bitter blow for music industry and a missed opportunity to grow our export market.”

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer MP said, “Every gig, stream and studio session in 2022 played their part in this stellar year for the UK’s music industry – adding billions to our economy in the last year and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“We want to keep up the momentum by maximising the potential of this world-beating industry. We are investing millions to boost music venues, helping artists crack overseas markets and supporting the talent pipeline, while also working with the sector to tackle the challenges and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence.”