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16 June 2021

Value Of UK Music Exports Hit New High In 2020

UK Music
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The value of UK music sales and streams overseas has been pushed by sales and streaming to over half a billion pounds for the first time since records began, according to new figures released by the BPI, the UK’s independent and major record labels association.

The UK is the largest exporter of music in the world after the US, and around 1 in 10 of all tracks streamed globally are now by a British artist. Major artists who have broken through in recent years such as Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Stormzy, Little Mix and The 1975 have made a huge impression across the world, while more-established superstar artists who have been leading the way, such as Ed Sheeran, Adele, Coldplay, Sam Smith and Calvin Harris, continue to post impressive streaming and sales figures internationally. The global popularity of classic artists such as The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones similarly remains undimmed.

Building on this strong heritage, the UK recorded music industry continues to discover and develop, and promote and invest in a diverse array of vibrant new music talent. Independent and major label artist rosters are consistently growing and now also include a new wave of rap, hip-hop and R&B/soul and dance artists such as Dave, Mabel, Jorja Smith, Headie One, J Hus, AJ Tracey, Aitch, D-Block Europe, Joel Corry, Gerry Cinnamon and Jax Jones, to name just a few, that are adding greater depth and breadth to the UK’s global appeal and profile.

The statistics reveal that the consumption of British music worldwide – which continues to rise, driven by the dynamic growth of music streaming – generated £519.7 million in export earnings in 2020, which is an increase of 6% on 2019 and the highest figure recorded since 2000, when the BPI began its annual survey of record label overseas income.

The growth in music exports has been powered by British artists and labels successfully harnessing the global reach of streaming, with 300 British artists already achieving more than 100 million streams annually. Indeed, more than 500 UK artists now achieve 50 million streams per year or more, part of a rapidly expanding cohort of British talent for whom streaming is already generating a significant annual income, even before taking into account earnings from physical and digital sales, TV/radio, brand partnerships and, in normal times, live performances.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “The explosive growth of music streaming around the world represents an unprecedented opportunity for British music. 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.””

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