'Prospects for British music brighter' if UK remains in European Union


British record labels are strongly backing the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union, according to a new BPI survey.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) revealed that over two thirds of surveyed members would prefer the UK remain in the EU.

Of the 133 labels who responded to the question, 67.7% wanted to stay in the EU. A further 19.6% wanted to leave, while 12.8% did not know or opted not to reveal a preference.

The UK's three largest record company groups - Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music - were among the respondents.

Last year, one in four albums sold across Europe was by a British artist. Adele led the way, with other successful British acts including Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Mark Ronson, Sam Smith and One Direction. 

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI and Brit Awards, said: "Music and the wider creative industries are a major success story for the UK economy.

"Given the importance of exports to Europe to our business, we believe that the prospects for British music are brighter if the UK remains within the European Union."

Nine in 10 respondents said they believed it is important to remain part of the process of agreeing EU copyright rules, in order to protect the music British artists create.

Further questions revealed concerns about uncertainty and potential harm to the music industry.

Some 59% believed that leaving the EU could make it more difficult to successfully promote British music and artists in Europe, although 33% felt that it would not.

Meanwhile, 70% shared their concerns that a UK withdrawal from the EU could create a great deal of difficulties (38%) or some difficulties (32%) for their business.

The BPI invited its 361 member organisations to take part in the survey between April 25 and May 6, ahead of the referendum on June 23. 142 members responded.

Taylor said: "British music is riding high and now accounts for a quarter of the total market in Europe for recorded music. This success helps to create jobs in the UK and fund exceptionally high levels of investment by British labels into new music.

"A strong majority of the UK labels we polled believe that remaining in the EU is critical to their business and that leaving would risk harming their future prospects."