British recorded music exports have defied increasing global competition to grow by a record amount in 2022 as UK artists dominate the year’s biggest global streaming hits.
The value of UK music sales and streams overseas increased by 20 per cent last year to £709m; a jump of over £100m in a single year and the first time that figure has ever breached the £700m mark, according to new stats from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
The trade association for music companies and record labels attributes the success to chart-busting hits released by UK artists last year and streamed on services across the world.
‘As It Was’ by Harry Styles was the most-streamed track globally of 2022, according to data from Luminate, with tunes by artists Glass Animals, Dua Lipa, Elton John and Kate Bush close behind in the Top 10.
Interim BPI boss, Sophie Jones, said the record-breaking export numbers “represent an exceptional achievement in the face of unprecedented competition on the global music stage” and puts the UK on track to hit £1bn in the nation’s annual music exports by 2030.
“But for this growth to continue the UK needs to remain a supportive environment for investment in music, and policymakers should continue to work with industry to maximise the overseas potential of UK music,” Jones explained.
She added it was “encouraging” that the government recently put an extra £3.2m investment into the Music Export Growth Scheme (Megs), a BPI-managed initiative which helps British artists to boost their careers in overseas music markets.
Currently the Megs scheme results in a near 14-1 ROI.
Minister for exports Lord Offord said the tripled Megs funding would ensure “the next generation of UK artists and SMEs can continue to champion British music abroad, share our world-class UK creativity across the globe, create jobs and grow the economy.”
The BPI also reported that emerging markets like the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America experienced significant increases in streaming users, leading to “double-digit percentage growth” in music consumption.
Established markets also contributed to this growth and the US in particular showed a 28 per cent revenue improvement, driven by the favourable exchange rate for the US dollar.
“British music is breaking records across the world,” said culture secretary Lucy Frazer, adding that the government is “investing millions to help the next generation of talent launch international careers and keep UK artists at the top of the charts for years to come.”