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Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith help music industry drum up £4.1bn for UK economy

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According to UK Music, the aforementioned stars, along with One Direction and Pink Floyd, have supported the 17 per cent growth of music exports experienced over the past year as fans around the world embrace British singers.

There was also an additional 17 per cent year-on-year increase in live music revenues, which has been generated from 26.7m visits to British events in 2014, while there are now over 117,000 full-time jobs in the music industry – many of which compose, create and record.

Indeed, musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists contributed £1.9bn alone, according to the data, while exports accounted for £2.1bn.

A slightly different change to the Houses of Parliament, business minister Sajid Javid visited Glastonbury this year and called music “a defining part of British culture”.

It was part of his support of the Music Export Growth Scheme, which funds artists from small independent companies – Fearless Vampire Killers was among the acts to secure capital from the programme.

According to UK Music, one in seven of all artist albums sold worldwide and five of the top ten selling albums were from British artists.

Read more on the music industry:

Jo Dipple, chief executive, UK Music, said: “2014 proved to be another hugely successful year for British music. The sector outperformed the rest of the UK economy and grew by five per cent year-on-year. Music contributed a staggering £4.1bn to the UK economy, and exports generated £2.1bn.

“The UK’s cultural footprint and soft power were driven by the global success of artists like Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Pink Floyd, Ellie Goulding, One Direction and Calvin Harris. Now in its third year, Measuring Music helps show the true weight of our commercial music sector and the scale of its global reach and impact.

“It also helps us articulate just how culturally important the British music industry and the 117,000 people it employs are to our nation. UK Music will continue to work with government for the best possible future for every part of our varied and stunningly diverse industry.”

In October, we saw the launch of a new company called Electric Jukebox, which wants to make music streaming reach the masses by delivering it in the form of an appliance that works by simply being plugged into a TV and connecting to the WiFi.

“The music industry can have a massive reemergence if it can start growing again. The key isn’t going from 40m-50m paid subscribers, but from 40m to 400m, and that’s the only way it’s going to grow,” said founder Rob Lewis in an interview with Real Business.

Culture secretary John Whittingdale was at the event and sung the company’s praises alongside celebrities including Alesha Dixon, Robbie Williams and Stephen Fry.

“It’s estimated by 2020, 26bn devices will be connected. It provides great opportunities, particularly for us in this country. We’re an entrepreneurial nation. I think this [Electric Jukebox] is a very exciting idea, but particularly exciting for consumers,” Whittingdale claimed.

“This change that is taking place is creating great challenges for business models and some of the old models are breaking down, but it’s the opportunities for new industries to spring up and that is what we’re here for.”

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