UK recorded music exports up 20%, exceeding £700m a year for the first time

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Photo credit: Kate Bush by Stephen Luff / CC from 2.0

UK music exports soar 20%, topping £700m a year for the first time as UK artists led by Harry Styles and Glass Animals dominate the biggest global streaming hits of the year despite increasing international competition.

A new BPI analysis shows that the value of UK recorded music exports rose by 20% in 2022 compared to the previous year to a new high of £709m. Backed by the label’s backing, the success has been fueled by established and pioneering British talent, including Harry Styles and Glass Animals, who were behind the two most-streamed titles globally in 2022.

Nearly two dozen artists funded by the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) for independent artists have amassed over 100 million audio streams annually. The overseas sales leap has been fueled by growth in new markets in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, as well as more established territories, and has put the UK on track to meet the BPI’s target of an annual British music export of To reach 1 billion pounds of the decade.

This represents the highest annual export value since 2000, when the BPI began its annual survey of label earnings abroad. The record came in a year when British artists were behind some of the biggest titles streamed on services worldwide. Harry Styles’ “As It Was” was the most-streamed title globally in 2022, according to Luminate data, with Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” at number two. They were joined by Elton John and Dua in the year’s top 10, Lipa and Ed sheeran

All but one of the top 20 UK territories for recorded music grew, including the largest market in the US, where sales rose 28% yoy. While this growth was partly fueled by the significant value of the US dollar against the British pound, a situation mirrored elsewhere in other foreign currencies against the pound, it also reflected the significant success of British artists abroad.

This again included Harry Styles and Glass Animals as the two most popular tracks on audio streaming services in the US in 2022, while other notable UK hits there included Adele, Coldplay, Kate Bush and Sam Smith.

While music exports in Germany – the UK’s second largest market – rose a relatively modest 4%, there were double-digit percentage gains in France (15%), Australia (17%), Canada (30%) and the Netherlands (15%). ), Italy (18%), Spain (14%) and Brazil (47%). India saw the most significant percentage growth, with sales up 130% yoy, making it one of the UK’s top 20 overseas markets for recorded music. Only China, one of the UK’s top 20 markets, lagged behind, down 2% year-on-year.

“These record export figures from UK labels represent an extraordinary achievement in the face of unprecedented competition on the global music stage, from both long-established and fast-growing new music markets,” said Sophie Jones, BPI’s chief strategy officer and interim CEO.

“They have put us on track to meet our target of £1bn in annual UK music exports by the end of the decade, but for this growth to continue the UK needs to remain a supportive environment for investment in music, and the political Policy makers should continue to do so.” to work with the industry to maximize the overseas potential of British music.”

“It has therefore been encouraging that we have recently secured an additional investment of £3.2m over the next two years in our successful Music Export Growth Scheme which has already supported the international careers of hundreds of independent UK artists and is now supporting even more of them can support them.” Jones continues.

“MEGS has played a significant role in growing our export figures as a large number of artists who have received funding are now enjoying significant and sustained streaming success in overseas markets.” This in turn benefits the UK economy.”