Adele, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa drive British music exports

UK music exports rose 13.7% in 2021 to a peak of £590.8 million ($709 million), the highest total ever, according to the latest analysis from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the trade body for independent and… major record labels in the UK

The total for 2021 is the highest since the BPI began its annual survey of record label earnings abroad in 2000 and was driven by a record number of UK artists, nearly 400, each racking up more than 100 million global streams. These include superstars like Adele, Dua Lipa, Dave and Ed Sheeran, as well as several up-and-coming artists including Glass Animals, PinkPantheress and Rex Orange County. More than 600 UK artists reached at least 50 million audio streams, while over 1,500 surpassed 10 million audio streams.

The analysis shows that physical and digital downloads, streams and other consumption of British music grew by 17.6% in Europe, 11.0% in North America and 11.1% in Asia. Ten of the UK’s top 20 music export markets posted double-digit percentage growth year-on-year, led by China with a 61.2% year-on-year increase, the US (up 10.4%), Germany (up 31.3%) and France (up 20.1%) and Canada (up 18%). UK music exports to Latin America rose 12.7% overall, including a 19.2% yoy increase to Mexico.

However, the UK’s share of the world market is under pressure from established markets that are consolidating their share of the world market, such as the US and Europe, and from fast-growing domestic music markets that are achieving greater international success, such as Latin America and South Korea, the analysis notes Celebration.

Geoff Taylor, Managing Director of BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, said: “These record-breaking numbers underscore once again the exceptional popularity of British music internationally. It’s not just about our beloved superstars, but new artists and bands from across the UK who can leverage their label’s investment and expertise to thrive in the competitive streaming landscape.”

“Recent market estimates suggest the global music industry could double by 2030, meaning there is ample opportunity for more artists to achieve international success and provide music for UK PLC,” added Taylor. “But continued success is not guaranteed as competition in international markets increases, making it more difficult to compete and putting pressure on our global market share. The Music Exports Growth Scheme provides important funding to help independent labels and artists expand their businesses abroad and with continued Government support, British music will continue to thrive around the world.”

More than 60 UK artists, whose music was streamed at least 20 million times worldwide in the last year, have received funding from the Music Export Growth Scheme, an export promotion scheme for independent music companies managed by the BPI and funded jointly by industry and the UK Government. Adele, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa drive British music exports

Charles Jones

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