The question most often asked of UK Music since its inception (2008) has been: 'What is the value of the UK music industry?'
That question, and the search for an answer that could meet the IPO's Standards of Good Evidence, led to the Measuring Music project.
Measuring Music is the only comprehensive study of the UK music industry’s contribution to the British economy in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA), jobs and exports. We have measured 2012 and 2013 to date and every subsequent year of Measuring Music will help build a data roadmap for policy makers.
UK Music is committed to long term support for this project.
How do you measure the music industry?
Most trade bodies report their economic contribution by referring to Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures. But, as DCMS conceded earlier this year, standard industry classification and occupation codes (SIC & SOC): “do not allow the contribution of music to be satisfactorily identified in a separate category” (DCMS, Creative Industry Economic Estimates, 2014). ONS is constrained by these codes which are internationally agreed.
We look forward to working with DCMS and ONS to improve these codes, but UK Music needed an accurate measurement of our economic contribution before reform is possible.
Realising we would have to create our own methodology while the SIC and SOC codes remain as they are, the members of UK Music agreed to aggregate industry data under the management of economist Jonathan Todd. Our members showed great trust with their commercial figures and special thanks must go to the 900 composers, musicians, singers and songwriters who completed an economic survey for 2013 activity. Those 900 responses secured a 260% increase in the number of survey responses in 2012, Year 1 of the project.
As our members become used to the process, and as awareness rises, the richness of our data will improve. The study was peer reviewed by Oxford Economics while UK Music discussed methodology with the IPO, DCMS, NESTA and ONS. We will continue to work collaboratively and transparently with these partners to further improve the analysis.
UK Music exists to help create the best public policy for the music industry.
Measuring Music brings us closer to achieving this goal.
This is a long-term project in its infancy. With the help of our members and our partners, Measuring Music will become the accepted economic map for those considering music policy for the future.
The challenge from the IPO is how can this be replicated in other sectors?
We and the IPO would be very happy to talk to anyone interested.