The recording industry is a goldmine for the UK, as a recently published report by UK Music reveals. The music industry has been estimated at combined value of £3.5 billion per year – this takes into consideration the combined earnings of the industry’s 100,000 employees, as well as annual earnings from record sales. The figure is much higher than previous estimates.

Ed Sheeran, Grammy Awards
The unassuming Ed Sheeran is one of the UK's most profitable exports.

They also reveal music businesses generate £1.4bn every year from exports, while British recording artists like Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande and Adele (some of the best in terms of international sales) boost the UK’s international reputation by about £72 million.

It’s difficult to measure exactly how much the music industry contributes to the economy, because the exact figures of record labels and music publishing companies are stored using inaccurate codes, while smaller companies and freelance workers earning less than the £79,000 VAT threshold do not feature in statistics at all. However, UK Music, describing the current estimates as “flawed”, poured through thousands of pages of data to correct the inaccuracies.

Adele, Oscars
Overall, it's the creative branch of the industry that's been the biggest contributor.

The revelations are startling.Of the 3.5 billion, it’s musicians, composers, songwriters and lyricists, who contribute the most (£1.6bn) to the economy. The “creatives” also employ the most people – an overwhelming 70%. Music reps and producers, on the other hand, are at the very bottom. Live music contributes £662m, followed by recorded music (£634m), music publishing (£402m), music representatives (£151m) and music producers and recording studios (£80m). According to Jo Dipple, chief executive of UK Music, this new information could and should lead to increased governmental support for the music industry.

"The Government has said it wants to support the creative industries but until now it's not had the precise data to hand. It does now, Dipple explained for Sky News. "A realistic picture of the how the industry is made up will lead to a better understanding of what investment and regulatory environment is needed to help our industry thrive.”

Emeli Sande, Paradiso
Previous data from major labels has been ambiguous and inaccurate