NTIA presents the first UK Electronic Music Industry Report

The NTIA has presented the first-ever UK Electronic Music Industry Report in collaboration with Audience Strategies, demonstrating the economic, community, and cultural value of the electronic music industry and shines a light on the powerful impact of this genre on the nation.

Electronic music has become one of the most popular genres in the UK, with a significant impact on the music industry, the economy, and the UK’s reputation worldwide. From recorded music and publishing to live concerts, events, and festivals, electronic music has taken the UK by storm and this new report explores the economic impact of electronic music including nightclubs, concerts, and festivals, as well as the benefits to communities and culture.

The main objective of the report is to work towards building funding mechanisms for artists and DJs, supporting grassroots electronic music venues and promoters, and building a stronger platform for education to secure the industry in the future. The report also examines the impact of gentrification, licensing, and zoning regulations on the industry and the need to inspire the government and industry stakeholders to support the continued growth and success of electronic music and to help build a stronger platform for education, innovation, and community engagement.

Electronic music has had a significant impact on the UK economy, contributing to the music industry and providing employment opportunities. The UK is the second largest music exporter globally, with 10% of all music streams worldwide attributed to British musicians. Exports of recorded music from the UK hit a record high of £590.8 million in 2021, with £41.2 million being electronic music. Across recorded music, publishing, and exports, electronic music is worth £181.7 million. The total measurable economic impact of electronic music in the UK, including concerts, festivals, and nightclubs, is estimated at £2.63 billion.

Live electronic music, including concerts, events, and festivals, is a popular form of experiencing electronic music, with electronic music as the most common genre in UK festivals, making up 29% of artists performing (Rock: 22%, Pop: 21% are second and third). Over 2.4 million people attended UK festivals with electronic music in the last 12 months. Nightclubs provide a space for people to come together and experience music, generating significant revenue through tickets, drinks, and other products. The UK’s electronic music education industry is also thriving, teaching the next generation about the history, evolution, and skills of producing and performing electronic music.

Key facts from the report:

  • 2nd most popular genre in the UK Top 10. Electronic music overtook hip-hop and is behind only pop music
  • 33% of the most popular artists in the world have ‘dance’ as one of the genres they produce, but not their primary genre
  • £181.7 million: Electronic music in the UK is worth about £79.0m in recorded music and £40.7m in music publishing. We calculate that electronic music exports are worth £41.2m and that another £21.2m of publishing is earned on top, totaling £62.4m.
  • 1st most popular genre in UK festivals. 29% of artists performing at UK festivals are electronic music artists
  • 103 million nights out based on electronic music. Made up of 96.2m in nightclubs, 2.5m in festivals, and 4.4m in electronic music concerts and events outside of festivals and nightclubs
  • 29.3% of UK nightclubs have been lost since the pandemic. That’s 365 lost clubs
  • 2.4 million people attended 145 UK festivals with electronic music on the bill in the last 12 months. 67% of these were ‘primarily electronic festivals
  • £519.3 million is the economic value of festivals with electronic music on the lineup
  • £272.3 million is the economic contribution of electronic music concerts and events outside of festivals and nightclubs
  • £1,657.4 million is the economic contribution of electronic music nightclubs
  • £2.6 billion is the total measurable impact of electronic music on the UK across recorded music, nightclubs, festivals, and concerts

Michael Kill, NTIA CEO Says:
“Electronic music is one of the UK’s understated phenomena, it shapes and embraces communities, educates, inspires and unites the UK with its unique form of culture.”

“For the last 2 years, we have been formulating a strategy to deliver this report, alongside key stakeholders and leaders in this space, to substantiate the true economic, community, and cultural value of the electronic music sector.”

The foundation of this work was born from the realisation during the pandemic that the Government has a limited understanding of the industry, but also considers the responsibility of the sector to educate decision-makers.

“This was highlighted when the Government’s financial support in the UK excluded electronic music in its scope, as part of the wider Cultural Recovery Fund through the Arts Council. Through the efforts of millions of electronic music supporters, we convinced the Government to recognise the importance of counter-culture and include the sector in its support.”

“We hope that the Government, through industry insight, will have a greater understanding of the sector, and support it in a way that cements its future in British culture.”

Yousef Artist/DJ/Producer Says:
“The cultural, social and economic impact of electronic music globally for over 30 years simply can not be understated. For an industry that has been born from grassroots and an almost spontaneous counter culture movement, it’s grown into the most wide reaching, accessible and dynamic music genre, possibly of all time.”

“No other genre offers such possibilities to literally all walks of life, from teen ravers in their bedrooms naively knocking out unexpected number ones, to the Grammys (finally) embracing electronic music as the mainstream. The blend of raw music to polished, spirited to the A&R now roll more closely and simultaneously than ever.  A scene that continues to evolve and prepare for the long-term future while feeling like it’s only just beginning.”

Electronic music not only brings financial gains but also contributes to communities and culture. Nightclubs serve as a platform for local artists, inspiring creativity and artistic innovation and fostering inclusivity and tolerance. However, the UK’s electronic music scene faces several challenges, such as licensing, zoning, and gentrification, which limit the number of electronic music nightclubs and increase their operational costs. There are significant concerns about the decline of physical spaces for electronic music and its impact on cultural significance. The future of electronic music in the UK will be determined by how these challenges are addressed. The report suggests that the UK government could support electronic music by appointing a nighttime advisor, reducing regulatory burdens, providing financial support, promoting the UK as a destination for electronic music, encouraging community involvement, investing in electronic music education, and addressing gentrification and redevelopment.

The report also highlights the benefits of electronic music and how it goes beyond just financial gains, contributing to communities and culture and serving as a platform for local artists, and fostering inclusivity and tolerance. Let’s support the electronic music scene and keep the UK economy dancing to the beat of electronic music.

Download the full report here

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About the Author

Loves long walks along the beach, holding hands and romantic 80's power ballads, partial to electronic music and likes to make the odd mix or two.