2017 – A Bumper Year for the British Music Industry

british music

The results are just in.

2017 was a record breaking year for British music! The annual Measuring Music report revealed the British music industry contributed nearly £4.5 billion to our economy last year. Up 6% on 2016! Mainly made up of the influence of musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists contributing over half the total amount.

The music sector as a whole in the UK grew by 13%. This also created a growing number of jobs – now sitting at 142,208. Good news for our live music scene too with the British live concert industry growing by 12%, measured by concert attendance. Other indications of the constant growth of the industry include membership of PRS for Music. The numbers almost doubled from 65,000 in 2010 to 125,000 in 2017. Also, PPL’s repertoire database more than doubled to reach over 11 million in the same period.

Which Artists?

2017 was a great year for British music as a whole but which artists stood out from the crowd? It will come as no surprise that Ed Sheeran is prominent in the list. His hit singles “Perfect” and “Shape of You” featured on his third album ÷ [Divide]. This was the biggest-selling album of last year. Dua Lipa’s success in 2017 was confirmed by her hitting the top spot as Spotify’s most-streamed female artist. She beat Rihanna and Taylor Swift to take the crown. Stormzy became the first grime artist to reach number 1 in the UK album charts, showing the growing strength of our grime scene.

More successes came with five of the global top 10 in the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) list being UK and Irish acts: Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, U2, Harry Styles and Rag’n’Bone Man. No coincidence that a couple of these featured in Music Newcastle’s 2017 gig at NUFC. The David Ball and Mark Deeks Duo always on trend it seems!

There were world tours by The Rolling Stones, Coldplay and Sir Paul McCartney. UK acts made up five of the top 10 most successful worldwide tours. In addition to that London’s O2 was reported as the world’s most popular arena.

Time to relax and put our feet up?

In the words of the late great Freddie Mercury, No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

The message from those heading up British music is that though industry growth is encouraging, we can’t rest on our laurels for too long. We need to continue to back British music and nurture up and coming talent. This includes giving people from all backgrounds a chance of a career in the business. Supporting music in education and grassroots music venues is essential to continued growth. As is ensuring that the creative contributors to the industry are justly rewarded for the work they produce.

I wonder what the 2018 figures will show? Who will have had the most influence and what other worldwide factors have come into play. Only time will tell. Let us know what you think by getting in touch!


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