Covid-19 Is Set To Halve The Size of The UK Music Industry
via Download Festival/YouTube
Thousands Have Lost Their Jobs
The music industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Ever since the start of the global crisis, millions were already lost as festivals, shows, and concerts had to be moved or canceled altogether. Even with the news of a vaccine that’s ready to hit the market in a few months, it seems like not everyone will recover quickly especially since in the UK alone, the said sector was stripped of its £3bn contribution to the economy.
And based on the annual Music by Numbers report by UK Music, the industry grew by 11% in 2019. Chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin called it a “catastrophic blow” especially as thousands are in danger of losing their livelihood.
He said, “‘Music By Numbers 2020’ shows just how successful our industry was before the catastrophic blow of COVID-19 knocked it down, and how important it is that we get it back on its feet. When the time comes to recover from this pandemic, our world-leading music industry can be a key part of our country’s post-COVID economic and cultural revival – but we need the right support to get us there.”
Njoku-Goodwin also added, “Our music industry is a key national asset. As this report shows, it contributes £5.8bn a year to the economy, generates £2.9bn in exports and supports almost 200,000 jobs. The UK music industry was a vibrant, fast-growing and commercially successful sector before the pandemic hit.”
The effects of the pandemic is greatly felt in live music. It was predicted that 2020 was going to bring in billions of profits but with venues shut down and lockdown measures in place, its gross value added or GVA has plummeted. 85% of the projected revenue has been lost. Even international artists who rely “very heavily” on their touring and gigs lost so much of their income this year.
According to the report, “In aggregate over 65% of music creators’ income will be lost as a direct consequence of Covid-19 and this could extend to over 80% for those most reliant on live performance.”
The one sector in the music industry that has continued to thrive and grow is streaming. Spotify, for one, had an almost 30% increase in paying subscribers during the lockdown.
Even with a vaccine on the horizon and the possibility of socially distanced concerts in the future, live music will never be the same again.