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Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

British recorded music exports at highest level since 2000

5:29, 6th September 2017

British recorded music exports have risen to their highest levels this century, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) has announced.

They have grown by over two thirds this decade and contributed nearly £4.4bn to the UK’s overseas earnings since 2000.

Figures compiled by the BPI based on an annual survey of its record label members reveal that overseas earnings from recorded music rose by 11.1% to £364.6m in 2016, up by £36.4m from £328.2m in 2015.

This is the strongest performance since the BPI began its annual survey in 2000. It represents an increase of £153m on the £211.6m recorded at the start of the decade and a rise of 72.3% since 2010.

British music exports are strongest in North America and across Europe, although fast-emerging markets in Asia are becoming increasingly significant. The top five international territories for UK labels in 2016 were USA, Germany, France, Australia and Canada. BPI members are reporting gains in developing markets including China, Turkey and South American territories, and India and South Korea have the potential to become important overseas markets in future.

UK artists account for one in every eight albums purchased around the world in 2016 and the UK remains the world’s largest exporter of recorded music after the US.

Announcing the rise in overseas music exports Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI, said: ‘With Britain leaving the EU, the UK needs businesses that are true global superstars. The global digital streaming market represents a huge new opportunity. Government can help to seize that opportunity by making sure our artists can tour freely post-Brexit and that third countries robustly protect music rights.’

Matt Hancock, minister of state for digital at DCMS, said: ‘This fantastic economic success is a huge testament to the UK music industry and the wealth of talent and creativity underpinning it.  Not only is music a crucial factor in bringing international investment to our shores but it is also the introduction to British culture for many people around the world.’


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