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The True Value of Music
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The True Value of Music

Personal and place-based

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist

Jonathan is an economist with over a decade’s experience in impact assessment and evaluation, and high-level policy experience, particularly within the cultural and creative sectors.

Jonathan Todd - Chief Economist | BOP Consulting

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LOCATION

Europe

CLIENT

UK Music

SECTOR

Projects Sectors

If you ask the UK government, ‘what is the true value of music?’ They couldn’t give you much of an answer. 


There are weaknesses, which DCMS acknowledge, in the Gross Value Added (GVA), export and employment metrics that ONS ascribe to the music industry.


Measuring Music, an annual study that I lead for UK Music, seeks to make up for these lacunae in the government’s knowledge.


Over three years of reporting, they have consistently been able to cast a light on an industry growing faster, while being proportionately much richer in exports, than the UK economy, with its sluggish growth and yawning current account deficit (the difference between UK exports and imports).


There is a plethora of business innovation stories behind this success: the vibrancy of the UK live market; the growth of streaming; the ability of UK writers to draw in revenues from makers of TV, film and computer games; and much more besides.


What all of this success depends upon, however, is the enduring appeal of music. In America, according to Nielsen data, 93% of the population listen to music, 23% of all weekly time spent listening to music occurs in cars, 16% while working (home or office), 15% accompanies chores at home, and 13% occurs when doing other activities alone (video games, reading, surfing the web).


Music is everywhere. It accompanies old activities, like reading, and much newer ones, such as web surfing. It is perhaps deceptively pervasive in how interwoven with our lives it is.

There are two points about the value of music that I take from this. First, if people didn’t value music, they wouldn’t welcome it into so many different parts of their lives. The amount of time that people spend listening to music is one measure of its value. Second, to convert this time value into business success, it needs to be monetised in one way or another.


This conversion is the overarching task of the industry. One trend that increasingly feeds in to this is the value that music listeners place on the distinctive and particular characteristics of localities. It is now pointless, for example, doing a generic music festival by numbers. It needs to be a festival imbued with local flavour to really prosper.


UK Music’s research increasingly reflects this. The universities that we are working with through the Music Academic Partnership (MAP) are often most interested in researching what is happening on their doorstep. Whether that is the live music census on Bristol published with the University of Buckingham earlier this year, or the research into Brighton as a ‘music city’ that we hope to publish with Brighton BIMM later this year.


We can think about value in a variety of ways but whichever way we look at it; music has great value.


You can download the full report published by UK Music below.

Measuring Music is created on behalf of UK Music and its members to highlight the economic contribution of the music industry to the UK economy.

Project Report

Measuring Music – 2015 Report

Building on our contribution to the second edition of the report in 2018, BOP has led as the Data and Research partner on this report to help find out how policies can protect people working in the creative and cultural sectors.

UNESCO's Re|Shaping Policies for Creativity Report – Addressing culture as a global public good

UNESCO

Our strategy will guide the creation of a new digital service aiming at supporting and developing the creative scene in Downtown Kingston.

Leveraging the creative potential of Downtown Kingston through technology

Inter-American Development Bank - IDB

Our research into the UK's high streets found that 69% of people think culture on their high street makes their area a better place to live.

Culture: The cornerstone of the UK’s high streets

Arts Council England

BOP’s updated Handbook for the Inter-American Development Bank sets out strategies for sustainability and urban resilience

Creative and Cultural Industries and Urban Revitalisation in the post-COVID era

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We investigated the potential impact of AI on the cultural and creative industries.

Opportunities and Challenges of AI for the Cultural and Creative Industries

European Commission

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A History of Bright Ideas: 90 Years of the RSA Student Design Awards

The Royal Society for Arts (RSA)

New skills research in the Gulf Co-operation Council States

An evidence-base for the growing Gulf festivals sector

British Council

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Conscientiousness, optimism, and curiosity

Museums Galleries Scotland

BOP’s report for Nanjing City Government demonstrates the importance of cross-cutting policies with a compelling cultural offer at the core

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Nanjing Creative Center

Findings from our work at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Creativity in health settings

GOSH Arts

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Cultural Infrastructure for the 21st Century

Chengdu Media Group

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Economic impact of COVID-19 on the Cultural and Creative Industries

UNESCO

Our analysis of the strengths & challenges of music in the Midlands is published

Hitting the right notes in the Midlands

Arts Council England

New handbook published for city leaders

How can cities make space for culture?

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

Our report sheds new light on how building the capacity of the heritage sector can assist working internationally

International working builds stronger heritage sector at home

National Lottery Heritage Fund

Our new report with Nesta published

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Nesta

Our new research report for the National Trust

Protect urban heritage to prevent growth in inequality

National Trust

Our latest research for the Reading Agency shows we should read year-round

Reading is for life, not just for August

The Reading Agency

Our review of the Scottish Animation Sector, commissioned by Creative Scotland, has just been published

Review of the Scottish Animation Sector

Creative Scotland

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Sharing Operations and Visitor Experience insight

VE:Forum

Related Projects

Evaluation and Impact Assessment

Jonathan Todd - Chief Economist | BOP Consulting

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist