Understanding the Music Industry

Unleashing the Potential of the UK Music Industry

There has never been a more exciting time to be a student or practitioner in today’s vibrant music industry.

As a whole, the industry has grown considerably in the past 12 months and has demonstrated year-on-year growth for the past five years – a fantastic record that stands it apart from 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!

Music contributed

£5.2 billion
to the UK economy in 2018

In 2018, music contributed £5.2 billion in GVA (gross value added) to the UK economy, up 15% on 2017 figures, and the total export revenue generated by the UK music industry was £2.7 billion. This unrivalled growth has meant that the number of new jobs created in the UK rose at a faster pace than the rest of the UK employment market – with an annual increase of 30% – to just under 191,000 employed in the UK music business alone.

This means the outlook for BIMM alumni and students in securing a career in an industry they’re passionate about is now even better.

In addition to the stellar growth in employment for the music industry, the breadth of career pathways has never been greater or more diverse. It’s not just artists, songwriters and musicians who are leading the way but an army of other industry professionals, such as sound engineers, producers, publishers, journalists, managers, and many others, who collaborate, making the UK music industry the envy of the world and an ideal career destination for BIMM graduates.

Music is big business

were employed in the UK music industry in 2018

A key driver for the industry is the continued growth of the live music sector, which is now worth £1.1 billion. Underpinning this are the millions of people who are pouring into festivals, stadiums and venues to see and hear their favourite acts. At BIMM, live music is central to our ethos, as we provide all students with the opportunity to perform, produce and manage a variety of live events at festivals and venues, both large and small, throughout their time at BIMM.

This real-life experience is central to equipping BIMM students with the valuable and relevant insights that they can use as they successfully pursue their career in music.


The exponential growth in streaming saw the retail value of that sector continuing to rise year-on-year. Spotify, who has been around for over a decade, now has over 100 million paying subscribers worldwide.

Furthermore, social platforms like Facebook and YouTube provide music consumers with other opportunities to listen to content that still needs to be created, performed, produced, managed and supported. This presents many new career opportunities for BIMM graduates, both today and in the future, as music, digital and social media converge – this is already taking place, as many BIMM alumni and lecturers are at the forefront of this exciting change.

The live music industry worth

£1.1 billion
to the UK economy in 2018

At BIMM, we’ve already been commended by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for the opportunities that BIMM students are presented in Masterclasses and guest lectures, and with mentoring and careers advice. Additionally, while studying at BIMM, students will experience a true microcosm of the music industry, with all areas represented by both lecturers and students. We show you how it all fits together.

We encourage Music Business students to manage artists and release records; Event Management students to put on gigs and become agents; Music Production students to work with the artists; and Music Marketing, Media and Communication students to run their social media campaigns and write their biographies and press releases.

Students can ‘do it themselves’ and go and intern, or work for those who do it in the industry, too. We are creating the professionals of tomorrow, both behind the scenes and on the stage. So, if you’re thinking about a career in the music industry, then now is a great time to get involved.


© 2022 BIMM Institute
British and Irish Modern Music Institute