British music exports hit £400m millennium high

Globe - musicians travel

Recorded music export revenues have reached their highest level since the turn of the millennium, hitting £408.4m in 2017.

This represents a rise of 12 percent year-on-year and sees overall overseas revenues for UK labels breaching the £5bn mark this century, according to new figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

When the trade body first began surveying annual export revenues 18 years ago, the figure stood at £363.7m.

The BPI said today (Thursday) that growing demand for UK music ‘demonstrates the enduring demand for British music’, with UK artists accounting for one in every eight albums consumed globally in 2017.

For nine of the past 13 years, a British artist has held the spot for the world’s best-selling album, most recently with Ed Sheeran’s multi-platinum selling Divide, which sold 6.1 million copies worldwide and helped to fuel last year’s strong figures.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI and BRIT Awards, said: ‘British music is riding high once again around the world, boosted by the talent of our artists and songwriters and the innovation and investment of record labels.

‘Our music not only enriches the lives of fans around the world, it makes a major contribution to the UK economy through overseas sales and by attracting numerous visitors to the UK.

‘With Brexit approaching, music can help to showcase what is exciting about the UK as we forge new trading relationships, but only if our Government supports us by ensuring a strong Brexit deal that enables artists to tour freely, robustly protects music rights, and prevents physical music products being impeded in transit.’

Collaborative initiatives between the UK government and the music industry have also helped to raise international popularity of British artists and boost international UK music sales.