A team of academics and music industry professionals is to map and measure the impact of the music industry on Scotland’s economy.
Led by Glasgow University, in partnership with the Scottish Music Industry Association (Smia), the project, launched today, will explore how much money the sector generates in sales and services annually.
Matt Brennan, a reader in popular music at the university’s College of Arts, and PhD student Robert Allan, a founding member of the band Glasvegas, will carry out the research over the next three years.
Mr Brennan said: “This is a landmark research partnership that aims to provide the most comprehensive study of the Scottish music industry to date.
“Robert Allan impressed us in his interview for the post with his insights on Scotland’s position within the global music economy based on his many years of experience as an internationally touring musician, coupled with his track record as a mature student who recently achieved the top mark in his class completing his music degree, which included an innovative dissertation on the impacts of touring on the mental health of musicians.”
The announcement of the project also marks the launch of the newly-formed Interdisciplinary Music Industries Research Group (IMIRGe) at Glasgow University.
Smia general manager Robert Kilpatrick added: “We are delighted to embark on this important and much-needed joint research project with the team at IMIRGe and Glasgow University.
“We hope that the launch of this project further stimulates a national conversation about the value of music to Scotland’s economy and wider culture, and we very much look forward to utilising the findings to see Smia services, projects and events provide maximum impact and benefit to the sector for years to come.”
Among the key research questions to be explored in the research are how much money the Scottish music industry generates annually; how many full-time and part-time workers are employed in it and which of the industry’s sectors are represented in Scotland.
The project aims provide a “robust map” of the music industries in Scotland. It will also focus on the changes in the industry over the last two decades and the lack of Scottish-specific data and assess challenges and opportunities for growth.
In recent years the growth of streaming and live music, cuts in public expenditure after the crash of 2008 and Brexit have changed the nature, value and structure of the music industries in Scotland.
In particular, according to Glasgow University, the implications of Brexit on the import and export of live music are still unknown, as there are no provisions in place as of yet.
Glasvegas lead singer Mr Allan said: “I am excited for the opportunity to pursue a PhD on a topic that I am passionate about, and to work alongside supervisors from both IMIRGe and the Scottish Music Industry Association.”