Thursday 18 February 2021 8:54 am

British music exports to hit £1bn by 2030 amid song rights boom

The value of British music exports could double to £1bn by 2030 if the UK cashes in on the surging value of music rights and growth in new markets after Brexit, according to a new report.

The rise of streaming services such as Spotify has fuelled a boom in music assets, with global revenues from recorded music forecast to rise to almost $40bn (£30bn) over the next decade.

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If UK music export growth continues at its current rate it will grow to more than £1bn over the same period, up from £489m in 2019, according to record label association the BPI.

The report highlighted growth opportunities in new markets such as Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East, where there is increasing demand for British hits.

But the BPI called on the government to support the success of UK artists overseas in order to cash in on the full economic and cultural potential.

It called for a doubling of the Music Export Growth Scheme, which provides grants to independent record labels to help them promote UK artists overseas. 

Mercury Prize Winners Wolf Alice, the London Symphony Orchestra and Belfast-based DJ duo Bicep are among the beneficiaries of the scheme.

The report also called for the introduction of a music recording tax credit — similar to the one available to film producers — to encourage artists to record in the UK, as well as a tightening of copyright laws to help stave off piracy.

“We are at a pivotal moment for British music on the global stage,” said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor. “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.”

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Touring troubles

The UK is the second largest exporter of recorded music after the US, accounting for one in 10 music streams across the world.

The industry is also cashing in on a boom in the value of music rights, spurred on by the continued popularity of streaming platforms.

However, MPs are currently carrying out an inquiry into music streaming amid concerns many artists and songwriters are not being paid their fair share.

Moreover, there are increasing calls from the industry to resolve the issue of visas after it emerged artists and their crews have not been guaranteed visa-free touring following Brexit.

The BPI called on the government to resolve the issue as a matter of priority to ensure British artists can promote their music abroad as easily as possible.

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