Business News Labels & Publishers Top Stories

UK recorded music exports grew 13.7% in 2021

By | Published on Wednesday 20 July 2022


UK recorded music exports grew 13.7% last year to £590.8 million, according to number crunching by record industry trade group BPI. That’s the highest export revenues for British record labels and recording artists since BPI started measuring such things back in 2000.

Needless to say, the ongoing streaming boom had a key role to play in all that, with BPI reporting that a record number of UK artists scored more than 100 million streams on a global basis last year. That includes the usual suspects like Adele and Ed Sheeran, but also artists including Glass Animals, PinkPantheress and Rex Orange County.

The global record industry at large had a good 2021, of course, so these figures aren’t necessarily that big a surprise. Although the Anglo-American markets like the UK – which have always done particularly well when it comes to recorded music exports – are now facing increased competition in that domain.

As a result, the BPI is keen to stress that, despite these positive results, the industry needs government support to ensure that UK recorded music exports continue to grow at the same pace as the global recorded music sector. If they do, that could mean a billion pounds in annual export revenues by 2030.

In particular, the BPI would like more government support for the Music Export Growth Scheme which it administers, and which provides funding for independent labels and artists seeking to pursue opportunities in new markets.

Says BPI boss Geoff Taylor: “These record-breaking figures once again highlight the extraordinary popularity of British music internationally. This is not just about our much-loved superstars, but new artists and bands from all over the UK who, with their label’s investment and expertise, are able to successfully navigate the competitive streaming landscape”.

“Recent market estimates suggest the global recorded music industry could double in size by 2030, meaning there’s ample opportunity for more artists to achieve international success and for music to deliver for UK PLC”, he adds.

“But continued success isn’t guaranteed, as competition increases from international markets, making it harder to cut through and putting pressure on our global market share”, he warns. “The Music Exports Growth Scheme provides vital funding to help independent labels and artists expand their businesses overseas, and with sustained support from government, British music will continue to thrive all around the world”.

Delve into more BPI export stats here.