How the new PM can boost the music industry

UK music industry

The leading industry body UK Music has wasted no time in issuing new PM Boris Johnson with a hefty to-do list.

Just minutes after the result of the leadership battle was announced yesterday, UK Music CEO Michael Dugher called on Johnson to prioritise and protect Britain’s £4.5 billion music industry. Dugher called on the PM to:

Reverse the decline of music in education

Between 2014 and 2019 the number of pupils taking A-Level music dropped by 30%. And in terms of those who do study music, there is a gap between rich and poor – those who receive sustained music tuition are far more likely to attend an independent school.

The solution

Establish a universal access to music principle within state education.

Get tough with big tech over copyright

Currently tech giants like YouTube make billions by exploiting the content made by others without paying fair rewards to music creators. The Copyright Directive, drawn up by the EU, aims to change this, and ensure firms pay their dues to artists and songwriters.

The problem is the directive is still being implemented. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the whole thing could be jeopardised. This would mean that British artists fail to benefit from the Copyright Directive, while their peers in the EU do.

The solution

Don’t leave the EU without a deal.

Support grass roots venues

About 35% of music venues have closed in the past 10 years. During the same period business rates have increased substantially.

The solution

Extend business rate relief to include small grassroots music venues. At present these venues are not eligible for new relief because the Treasury boffins say they “not similar in nature” to pubs and clubs.

Support parents

More than 60% of workers in the music industry are self-employed – way above the national average in the general population, where it’s 15%. The self-employed are not eligible for parental leave.

The solution

The Government must extend the right to shared parental leave to self-employed people.


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