How has the Brexit Trade Deal impacted your music business?

The ISM is investigating the impact of the Brexit Trade Deal on the UK’s music businesses and we need your help. The evidence you provide in this three-minute survey will help persuade the Government that new measures are needed to make it easier to trade across Europe.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (known as the Brexit Trade Deal) has significantly affected our entire industry. Now, the Government is asking for information to better understand the impact and this short survey is designed to help shape their policymaking.

While much of the media coverage of this issue has focussed on performers, we know that the music sector is a complex ecosystem. So we want to hear from a diverse range of businesses in our world-leading industry, from tour operators, manufacturers and those involved in recording, through to music publishers and retail sales as well.

Missing evidence

While within the music industry, the importance of trade with Europe is obvious, it is clear that this has not always been understood outside the sector. A recent report by UK Music found that in 2019, we generated £2.6 billion in exports, much of which was with the EU. Meanwhile, British artists were responsible for nearly one in four albums sold in Europe during 2015, according to BPI data. The same research showed that, in the six biggest export markets for the UK in Europe, British artists claimed almost one in six album sales during the year.

However, as everyone in the sector will be aware, our success is now threatened by the impact of the Brexit Trade Deal. The Office for National Statistics reported that exports to the EU fell by £5.6 billion (41%) in January 2021, the largest monthly fall since records began in 1997. As the ONS found no equivalent trends with countries outside the EU, even seeing a slight increase in exports, it is clear that this is related to the new trading relationship.

While this research provides important evidence for a national trend, the evidence is missing about what this means for the music sector specifically. Our hope is that this survey will fill in the gaps and reveal the true picture of the current situation. This information is therefore vital for persuading politicians to adopt our key policy recommendations.

    What we need

    The ISM is committed to helping music businesses by playing an active and constructive role in fixing the problems facing our sector after Brexit. That is why we are campaigning for a range of measures including improved cabotage regulations and clarity around carnet processes. We are also recommending that the Government publishes sector-specific guidance to help businesses adapt to the new trading relationship with Europe.

      In addition, we are joining with others in the creative industries to call for a bespoke visa waiver with the EU and agreeing work permit exemptions with individual EU Member States.