Streaming pushes British music exports to record level – BPI

The total is the highest since records began in 2000, the BPI said.

Streaming has pushed the value of the UK music industry’s overseas exports to more than half a billion pounds for the first time, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said.

British music generated £519.7 million in export earnings in 2020, according to  the BPI, a rise of 6% on the previous year.

The total is also the highest since records began in 2000, trade association the BPI said.

Stormzy is among the homegrown stars who have helped power British music exports to a record level (Ian West/PA)

It means the UK is the largest exporter of music in the world after the US and around 1 in 10 of all tracks streamed globally are now by a British artist.

The BPI said 300 British musicians are already achieving more than 100 million streams annually, while 500 now reach 50 million streams or more per year.

It pointed to the success of stars such as Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi and Stormzy, as well as the likes of Ed Sheeran and Adele.

The BPI called on the Government for a new music partnership to attempt to double the annual exports to £1 billion by 2030.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI and Brit Awards, said: “As the UK builds back from Covid-19 and forges its future as an independent trading nation, music can play a pivotal cultural and economic role. We call on Government to seize the moment and make music a champion of our global trading ambitions.”

While streaming has experienced explosive growth, services have been criticised for how little emerging artists can earn.

Earlier this year MPs were told musicians and songwriters are being “cheated” by the way streaming revenue is handled.

Both the Musicians’ Union and the Ivors Academy for songwriters and composers told MPs that music creators had been most affected by the rise of giants such as Spotify, Amazon Music and YouTube.

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