Value of music sector soars

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The Independent Online
THE BRITISH music industry contributes as much to the nation's balance of payments as steel exports do, with overseas sales of more than pounds 1.3bn a year. In total, music boosts Britain's economy by pounds 3.2bn a year.

Music products, from compact discs to musical instruments and live performances, account for 15 per cent of overseas sales, a figure exceeded in United Kingdom industry only by whisky sales and the manufacture of Formula 1 racing cars.

The industry's value was revealed yesterday by the accountant KPMG, in the most detailed report on the business. About 130,000 full-time jobs are dependent on music in the UK and KPMG forecasts that this is to grow to more than 200,000 by 2007. The total value of the music industry is expected to increase in the same period to pounds 6.7bn.

Some of the jobs include those in record shops, but 42,000 Britons are employed as songwriters, composers or performers. "British acts have made significant impacts overseas," said Geoff Hoon, minister for trade at the Foreign Office, at the report's launch.

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