Insights UK Music sets out priorities of the music industry ahead of general election


The Interim Chief Executive of UK Music, Tom Kiehl, has written an open letter to leaders of all political parties contesting the UK general election, urging them to adopt key priorities of the music industry in their respective manifestos and urging the next government to support the music sector.

The letter follows the publication last September of UK Music’s ‘A Manifesto for Music’ which called on a future government to develop a “comprehensive, medium to long-term music strategy for growth”. Five measures in particular are highlighted. First, the letter argues that “the next government should rule out any copyright exception that will allow AI developers to use copyright-protected music without permission”. In addition, AI-generated music should be clearly labelled, AI firms should keep records of works used to train models, and the new government should introduce protections for personality rights of musicians “to prevent AI unlawfully replicating the voices of artists”.

Second, the letter highlights what it calls a “European touring crisis” following Brexit on account of, for example, visa and work permit difficulties, barriers to selling merchandise, and problems with truck hire. It calls for a ‘Cultural Touring Agreement” to be secured with the EU as a priority.

Third, there are calls for the introduction of a tax credit to encourage new UK music production, mirroring similar schemes in the film, TV, and video games sectors. As the letter points out, the music industry does not benefit from such a scheme which, it claims, consequently puts it as a competitive disadvantage compared to markets such as France, Australia, and some US states. Fourth, it calls on the new government to invest millions more in music education and to recruit 1,000 more music teachers.

Finally, the letter draws attention to the continuing practice of secondary ticketing platforms selling tickets for events at prices significantly above face value. Whilst not proposing any specific measures, the letter urges the next government to “protect music lovers by introducing measures to curb these practices”.

To read the letter in full, click here.