A Country a Week: Great Britain

Great Britain is very interesting when it comes to music. It has the third largest industry in the world, coming behind only the United States and Japan. And it’s growing  in popularity. According to the BPI (British Phonographic Institute), Britain’s market share for album sales was up to 13.3% globally in 2012. The top selling album, globally for five out of the last six years has been a British artist. Things are looking up for Great Britain and their eternal struggle with the United States for dominance in the music industry.


British music has always been popular around the world, especially in the United States. Led Zeppelin, Queen, Adele, and The Rolling Stones are only a few of the plethora of bands that have stolen the hearts ears of Americans, so it’s no surprise they’re seeing such success now. But the British music industry is still seeing the tough times that the rest of the world are experiencing. Streaming sites like Deezer and Spotify are seeing increases in the numbers of subscribers but it isn’t enough to make up for the 19.5% decrease in album sales from 2011 to 2012.


Starting in 2011, Great Britain started looking at the music industry in a new way. They started to put a price on music tourism. A partnership between UK Music and PRS (Performance Rights Society) for Music yielded the first every official statistics of the impact of music festivals and concerts on the economy of Great Britain. It attempted to estimate how many people come into the UK each year as “music tourists.” The definition of a music tourist is “someone who booked a ticket to a live music event in the UK while still in their own country, prior to traveling.” (http://www.ukmusic.org/assets/media/UK%20Music%20-Music%20Tourism.pdf) This definition includes people who live in parts of Great Britain but traveled to other parts in order to see a concert or festival. According to this year’s survey entitled the “Wish You Were Here” report, 6.5 million people came to Britain for music tourism purposes spending 1.3 billion pounds. This survey also estimated that the music tourism industry supports 19,700 full time jobs.


With the incredible amount of information on music tourism, people are lobbying the government to spend more on advertising the rich and diverse music scene in order to spur the economic growth of Great Britain. Starting this year, the UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) teamed up with the BPI to set up a fund for small labels that intend to export their music worldwide. This will hopefully secure Great Britain’s title as one of the leading countries in the music industry. Successfully marketing and selling music overseas contributes 100 million pounds to the British economy annually. The hope is that this fund will help increase awareness of smaller British artists and in the end help boost the economy.


The music industry is in a tumult. No one can tell where it’s going. Most people are looking to the live industry as the revenue producer in the future. If this is true, Great Britain will be well on it’s way to being a leader in the near future.

The number one song in Great Britain this week.

From the desk of Richard Walters

Richard Walters is an independent singer/songwriter from Oxford. His new album “Regret Less”, released in October 15th 2012, was autoproduced for the first time by himself. In his letter he says that is a good thing  to find financial support from the label, provided that the recording, mixing and mastering process represent an high expense. However this doesn’t make the artist free to make individual decisions about it. In the letter he just expresses the

will to let people hear his music not just because of money but because they could really feel engaged by it. He also talks about the importance to share music with friends, ’cause it happened to him at a time when he was just listener. Most records of his collection come from “personal reccomendations” , something they could not keep for themselves.

His aim is to let talk about his music and sharing it along with this letter. Finally he remembers the meeting with an A&R person, stating: “You’re great artist, but you’re the kind of artst that needs to die before they sell any serious units – It’s a Nick Drake situation” he said.

The blogs wants to express the need to support independent artists through simple spread of voice or ‘word of mouth’.