Here at BIMM, we often get asked by prospective students and their parents about the health of the music industry, particularly in light of new technologies, the closure of live music venues, the increased popularity of music streaming and the constantly changing nature of the business.

We understand that students and their parents are just trying to make sure they’re choosing a valid industry for their career; one which has good employment prospects, both now and in the future. As part of this healthy discussion, we’re asked questions like “Are there really any opportunities out there in music?” and “Isn’t music a dying industry?”

Well… the situation in reality couldn’t be further from that painted by these types of questions – and we have solid statistics to back this up too! So, we’re here to bust some of those common myths surrounding the music industry with the help of cold, hard facts thanks to UK Music’s new report on the state of the UK music industry – Measuring Music 2017.

Music Industry Myth 1: “The music industry is not that large and is not important to the UK economy.”

In reality, this type of view couldn’t be further from the truth. The industry as a whole has grown considerably in the past 12 months and has demonstrated year on year growth for the past five years – in virtually all sectors – to its biggest numbers yet… outperforming many other areas of the economy. The figures show the enormous career potential across the sector and prove that if you’re looking towards a future career in the music industry, then your timing couldn’t be better!

In 2016, music contributed £4.4 billion in GVA (gross value added) to the UK economy, up 6% on 2015 figures, and the total export revenue generated by the UK music industry was £2.5 billion – a 13% increase on last year.

Music Industry Myth 2: “The only people who are employed in the music industry are global artists and performers.”

That’s simply not true! Artists are only a minuscule proportion of those employed within the music industry. In fact, the number of jobs grew by 19% across the sector, with 142,208 people now employed in the UK music business – and the number of new jobs in music rising at a faster pace than the rest of the employment market. Far from all being artists, those employed in the music industry work across a variety of different sectors: 63% are musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists; 20% are working in live music; 8% are music producers, recording studios and staff; 6% are working in recorded music; 2% are music representatives; and 1% work in music publishing.

Music Industry Myth 3: “No one buys records anymore…doesn’t that mean the music industry is in decline?”

While it’s true that the way the UK is listening to music is changing, the reality is that music consumption isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, with the huge growth in streaming seeing the retail value of that sector increase by an enormous 65% on the 2015 figure to £418.5 million.

In fact, the Measuring Music 2017 report shows that the music recording sector has actually seen positive movement for the first time since UK Music started analysing the industry five years ago, with a rise of 5% growth on 2015, and the export growth of music publishing has increased by a massive 25% in one year alone!

So, there you have it – it’s official! The state of the UK music industry in 2017 is better than ever, with an extremely positive outlook on the horizon too. Not only are career opportunities for BIMM graduates currently out there and available, but they’re growing in number. So if you’re thinking about a career in the music industry, then now is a great time to get involved.

If you’d like BIMM to connect you to a career in music, call a member of our Admissions Team today on 0844 2 646 666 or email

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