The BPI has announced details of the 21st round of Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) funding. A total of £500,000 has been awarded to support 28 UK artists as they look to grow their international profile and exports in global music markets.
The Music Export Growth Scheme supports small to medium-sized music companies as they build their artists’ commercial potential in overseas territories. Funding comes from the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) alongside investment from the UK recorded music industry, which on average contributes just under two-thirds (64 percent) of the total spend.
The artists benefitting from this latest round investment reflect the vibrant diversity of British music across different genres. The successful applicants include companies representing, among others, Nigerian born, London based musician, Obongjayar; Glasgow band, Mason Hill; Belfast alternative rock group, New Pagans; Welsh singer-songwriter, Elkka; Liverpool acts Red Rum Club and The Mysterines; Leeds singer, DJ and producer, Emma-Jean Thackray; Manchester electronic group W.H. Lung; Bristol singer-songwriter Katy J Pearson; and Kent-based indie-pop solo artist Will Joseph Cook. There are also a number of acts from London, including electro-pop duo Jockstrap, rapper Knucks, art rock band Dry Cleaning, and Girli.
This funding comes at a pivotal time for the UK music industry as it seeks to maintain its position as the world’s second largest exporter of recorded music in the face of increasing global competition. While the UK’s recorded sector has in recent years succeeded in growing export revenues, accounting for 1 in 10 global streams, the UK’s share of the global market has slipped from 17 percent in 2015 to 10 percent today. Continued funding by Government through MEGS remains essential given its potential to strengthen the UK’s ability to compete internationally and to support annual music exports rising to over £1billion by the end of the decade.
Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, says, ‘UK artists know just how valuable the Music Export Growth Scheme has been in helping to build their global fanbases and boost exports. We are grateful to government for their consistent support of the Scheme over the past decade, but with an impressive 13 – 1 return on investment, we should be more ambitious. The scheme should be expanded further as the global streaming market continues to grow, or we risk missing out on even more potential big wins for the UK. It’s time to invest to ensure the UK remains a leading global music nation.’