The U.K. music industry generates £3.5 billion ($5.7 billion) in annual revenues, according to a comprehensive new report from umbrella trade organisation UK Music.

The survey, which is entitled “The Economic Contribution of the Core UK Music Industry,” reveals that revenues generated from musicians, composers and songwriters totaled £1.6 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2012, while recorded music sales added £634 million ($1 billion) to the United Kingdom economy.

Live music revenues totaled £662 million ($1.07 billion) with music publishing generating £402 million ($655 million). Collecting societies, music managers and music trade bodies accounted for a further £151 million ($246 million), while revenues generated from U.K. music producers and recording studios totaled £80 million ($130 million) in 2012.

The total value of U.K. music exports was placed at £1.4 billion ($2.3 billion) with music publishing the most profitable sector in the overseas market, accounting for £509 million ($829 million) in export sales. 

The survey also reveals that the U.K. music industry currently has over 100,000 people in full-time employment, with musicians, composers and songwriters making up the highest number of employees (68,000).

The U.K. live music business is the industry sector with the second highest number of employees (13,500), with the recorded music industry - comprising labels, distributors and physical manufacturers - employing just under 10,000 full-time staff. Part-time, freelance and seasonal workers in the U.K. music industry are represented in the results of the survey with each part-time employee being counted as ½ a full-time job.

According to UK Music, the report delivers the most in-depth study to date on the music industry’s contribution to the United Kingdom’s economy and took over 12 months to research and write, using data drawn directly from music companies and individuals. Although there has been past studies into the economic value of the U.K. music business, the new survey claims to be the first to define exactly what constitutes the United Kingdom’s stand-alone core music industry - comprising artists and composers, recorded music, live, publishing, artist managers and collecting societies, and producers and recording studios.
Previous estimates about the value of the U.K. music industry are “flawed” says UK Music due to “weaknesses” in the accounting and classification data used by The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which historically groups music data together with other creative sectors including dance, comedy, theatre, opera and art.
“This [report] shows for the very first time exactly how much music – in all its guises – contributes to the U.K. economy in terms of GVA [Gross Value Added], exports and employment,” said UK Music CEO Jo Dipple in a statement. “Government has said it wants to support the creative industries, but until now they have not had the precise data to hand. They do now.”

Dipple continued: “A realistic picture of the how the industry is made up will lead to a better understanding of what investment and regulatory environment is needed to help our industry thrive. [Music] is a great U.K. success story, but now it can be even better understood and developed.”

The first of what will become an annual study, “The Economic Contribution of the Core UK Music Industry” report is available to download from