Streaming could help drive UK music exports to £1bn within decade

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

The global growth in streaming could help push UK music exports to more than £1 billion a year by 2030, according to a new report.

Record labels association the BPI said streaming offers a “huge opportunity” for expansion overseas in the post-Brexit landscape.

However, it said backing from the Government is essential, and called for support in the promotion of UK artists and music abroad.

British recorded music exports reached £489 million in 2019, up from £211 million in 2010.

As emerging markets adopt streaming, global revenues from recorded music are forecast to rise to almost 40 billion US dollars (£29 billion) by 2030.

If exports continue their growth rate as the market expands, they will pass the £1 billion mark over the same period – more than double today’s level.

In a report, titled All Around The World, the BPI urges support for a doubling of the Music Export Growth Scheme grant support, which promotes artists signed to independent labels internationally, as well as incentives for music production in the UK and higher standards of copyright and enforcement in key export markets.

Alongside established markets such as Europe, North America and Australasia, where UK music has long been popular, the report identifies Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East as opportunities.

Music streaming
BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor (House of Commons/PA)

Mercury Prize-winning rock band Wolf Alice said: “The global reach of British music gives us the ability to connect with fans all around the world, and the support that we had from the Music Export Growth Scheme early in our career was critical in us breaking through in key markets such as the USA.

“With streaming now growing fast even in emerging markets, we hope that other new British artists will receive similar support, so that British music can make even more of an international impact.”

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “We are at a pivotal moment for British music on the global stage. As the UK works to build back from Covid-19 and forge its future as an independent trading nation, music can play a vitally important cultural and economic role.

“Because of streaming, our country has a huge opportunity to connect artists with fans in ways never before possible. There is a £1 billion prize to be gained for the UK, which would benefit artists, fans and the UK economy alike.

“We are today putting forward a plan to work with Government to support touring and showcasing by more UK artists and deliver substantial growth in music exports.

“SME and indie music companies will directly benefit and amplify the extensive work record labels do to develop and promote British music globally.”

Culture minister Caroline Dinenage said: “This report demonstrates how important music exports are to our economy and streaming offers opportunities and reach that we’ve never seen before. I look forward to working with the industry as we build back better from the pandemic and secure the UK’s position as a leader on the global music stage.”

– The All Around The World report is available online.

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