Music industry debate set for House of Commons

Live music - gig crowd

Conor McGinn MP has secured a debate at Westminster this afternoon (3 November) where he will highlight the contributions of the music industry and the importance of making sure creators are fairly rewarded for their work.

The Labour MP for St Helens North will point to the £4.4bn that the industry contributes to the UK economy, as well as its 2016 export revenues of £2.5bn thanks to stars like Adele, Stormzy and Ed Sheeran.

Writing on Politics Home ahead of the debate, McGinn – secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music – said the music industry is going from strength to strength but faces challenges ‘to make sure that growth is not put at risk’.

He wrote: ‘Although the big stars earn significant sums, many musicians, artists, composers, lyricists and creators earn well below the average wage… more and more people are listening to music via streaming services and digital downloads. Often, the creators and investors behind that music do not get much in the way of financial return.

‘The Government must do far more to help close that ‘value gap’ to ensure tech giants like YouTube and Facebook fairly reward those whose music brings millions of people to their platforms.’

Writing about the threat to grassroots venues due to redevelopment and soaring rents, he supported the notion that the government should introduce the ‘agent of change’ principle, which would force developers to consider the impact their plans would have on local music venues.

McGinn will also stress the importance of the industry in terms of creating employment. Over 140,000 people were employed in the UK music business in 2016, up 19 percent on 2015.

The half-hour debate will take place today in the Commons. A minister from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will respond on behalf of the Government.

Watch the debate live at 2.30pm via