British music exports rise to highest level this century

Adele, Coldplay, David Bowie and Rolling Stones led the way in driving UK global sales in 2016, which are up 11 percent to £365m.

  • By Lucy Doyle
  • 7 Sep 2017
  • min read
Adele, Coldplay, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones led the way in driving UK global sales in 2016 to their highest levels yet, the BPI has announced.

Figures compiled by the music body found that overseas earnings from British recorded music exports reached their highest level this century  up 11.1 percent to £365m and have contributed nearly £4.4b to the UK’s overseas earnings since 2000.

Matt Hancock, minister of state for digital, said: 'This fantastic economic success is a huge testament to the UK music industry and the wealth of talent and creativity underpinning it.

'Not only is music a crucial factor in bringing international investment to our shores but it is also the introduction to British culture for many people around the world,' he added.

The UK is the world’s largest exporter of recorded music after the US, with UK artists accounting for one in every eight albums purchased around the world in 2016.

Since the BPI began its annual survey in 2000, sales have increased by £153m, with a rise of 72.3 percent since 2010.

Commenting on the significance of overseas music exports in relation to Brexit, BPI & BRIT Awards chief executive, Geoff Taylor, said: 'With Britain leaving the EU, the UK needs businesses that are true global superstars.

'Music by brilliant British artists such as Ed Sheeran, Adele, David Bowie, Coldplay and Sam Smith is streamed and purchased the world over, boosting the UK’s balance of payments.

'The global digital streaming market represents a huge new opportunity. Government can help to seize that opportunity by making sure our artists can tour freely post-Brexit and that third countries robustly protect music rights.'