British music exports grow to over £500m

British music exports grow to over £500m

Streaming has pushed the value of the UK’s music sales and streams overseas to over £500 million, according to new figures released by the BPI.

Consumption of British music worldwide generated £519.7m in export earnings in 2020 – up 6% on 2019 and the highest figure recorded since the organisation began its annual survey of record label overseas income in 2000. 

The UK is the second largest exporter of music in the world, behind only the US, with around 1 in 10 of all tracks streamed globally now by a British artist, and 300 UK artists already achieving more than 100m streams annually. In excess of 500 UK artists now achieve 50m streams per year or more.

We call on government to seize the moment and make music a champion of our global trading ambitions

Geoff Taylor, BPI

"The explosive growth of music streaming around the world represents an unprecedented opportunity for British music," said BPI and BRIT Awards CEO Geoff Taylor (pictured). "With global competition intensifying, now is the time to push hard, to actively promote our artists to a global audience and maximise our share of global growth, with artists such as Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Stormzy, The 1975 and Mabel, among many others, now leading the way alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran Adele, Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys.

“As the UK builds back from Covid-19 and forges its future as an independent trading nation, music can play a pivotal cultural and economic role. We call on government to seize the moment and make music a champion of our global trading ambitions.”

Despite the record growth in overseas revenues, the UK’s overall share of global music revenue is slipping. The UK currently accounts for around 10% of the global total, down from a peak of 17% in 2015. And while the UK recorded a 6% growth in exports in 2020, overall, the global music market grew more quickly, to 8.2%, according to the IFPI.

As a result, the BPI is repeating its call on the government to strike a new strategic partnership with the music industry to seize the "exceptional opportunity presented by rapidly growing music exports fuelled by streaming".

The BPI's All Around The World report, published earlier this year, found that with the right support, including a continuation of the Music Export Growth Scheme, annual UK music exports could reach 1 billion by 2030.

The body's five asks of the UK government are as follows:

*Double the successful Music Export Growth Scheme grant support, which generates a 12-1 return, and invest in international showcases and events that will help to promote British artists to the world;

*Ensure that a Cultural Exports / International Office provides effective targeted support to the commercial music sector, in particular to help navigate new administrative requirements following the UK’s departure from the EU, as well as facilitating cultural collaboration.

*Introduce a music production tax credit to encourage new investment into creating new recordings in the UK, boosting the generation of UK IP, jobs and skills;

*Prioritise agreements with the EU and third countries to enable artists and crews to tour and promote their music as easily as possible, and to make the UK easily accessible for global talent looking to visit the UK to record and perform;

*Raise standards of copyright protection and enforcement in key export markets through trade negotiations, rejecting any watering down of UK copyright in deals.

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