British music forging trade links and boosting exports at Midem

AIM, BPI, MPA, PPL & PRS for Music partner with DIT and Music is GREAT to promote British music exports at Europe’s leading business event for the international music industry

Logos of the organisations supporting British Music at Midem, arranged around a navy plectrum patterned with the UK flag design

Each year the global music community congregates in Cannes, France to attend Midem – the world’s leading international B2B event dedicated to the new music ecosystem.  This year’s event (5–8 June) at the Palais des Festivals will play host to over 1,000 exhibiting companies and 25 pavilions from over 80 countries. It will be led by a major international tradeshow as well as conferences, networking events and artist performances.

British Music at Midem stand

The UK Government and British music will again be there in force through the British Music at Midem stand: DIT (Department for International Trade) is partnering with music associations AIM (Association of Independent Music), BPI (British Phonographic Industry), MPA (Music Publishers Association), PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) and PRS for Music. They will support over 120 UK music businesses and member delegates as they seek to connect with international companies, sign deals and develop trading and music export opportunities.  Please see Notes for Editors for further details. In the run up to Midem 2018, DIT has released a thought leadership paper that explores the latest trends and innovations in British music and profiles 15 ambitious startups. Copies of the whitepaper will be available both online and at the UK stand at Midem.

Music is GREAT presents British Music Night

Reinforcing the British music presence at Midem this year Music is GREAT, the Government’s campaign to promote UK music exports, will present British Music Night – showcasing the best of new and emerging British musical talent on the Sunset Stage at Midem Beach, Palais des Festivals, with Wildwood Kin, Nina Nesbitt and Tokio Myers headlining the slot.  

The UK punches above its weight

The UK is the world’s fourth-largest market for recorded music, although the largest exporter of music after the US.  In 2017 its talented artists, led by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Rag’n’Bone Man, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa and Little Mix accounted for one in every eight albums sold worldwide, including the year’s global best-seller – Ed Sheeran’s Divide.  The vibrant independent music scene also plays its full part, with indie labels accounting for 22% of UK album purchases, while 12.5 million music tourists boosted the UK Economy by as much as £4.0 billion in 2016 according to UK Music’s Wish You Were Here annual report. 

Music exports matter to the UK

Fans around the world love British artists, helping to make music Britain’s international calling card. UK artist’s share of album sales increased in both France and Germany in 2017, while remaining at around 12% in the USA.  As the UK looks to forge new international trade relationships, British music has a potentially important part to play – boosting exports and jobs, and helping to promote Brand Britain and British cultural identity globally.

UK record labels and publishers help to foster this global success through innovation and investment, backing great new music and artists with around a quarter of their revenues in A&R and the same again in marketing and promotion. At the same time the UK helps to create an environment in which international trade can thrive, such as through overseas missions and funding to promote exports.  DIT and GREAT, for example, support the Music Exports Growth Scheme (MEGS) in partnership with the BPI and the PRS Foundation for Music ‘Showcase’ scheme, whilst also extending other support to UK music companies.


A number of our members at AIM have gone from asking whether or not there is still a viable music market to now focusing on the new market and how to make it work for them. A big part of our job at AIM is to help support independent music companies, whether established labels, digital distributors or artists managing their own releases in understanding the market and how to grow their businesses within it. Midem is a great place to come together with friends and colleagues from across the globe to discuss key industry issues, meet new people, hear what is happening next and get that wider perspective.

Paul Pacifico, Chief Executive, AIM

British Music has become the UK’s global calling card, and in a changing and uncertain international landscape where our Government is required to forge new trading relationships, it’s important to attend major networking events if our industry is to effectively promote its talented artists and the labels that invest in them even more widely, connect with new audiences and develop key new markets overseas. The BPI has attended every Midem since our organisation came into being in 1973, and we look forward to fully participating in another fruitful event this year.

Chris Tams, Director of Membership & International, BPI & BRIT Awards

Once again the UK music publishing community heads off to Cannes to discuss the issues of the day, meet old and new friends, find or catch up with sub-publishers and meet licensees. Midem remains a key date in our diaries and one the MPA and our members very much look forward to.

Jane Dyball, CEO MPA Group Companies

Midem is an important event in the music industry’s calendar and we are delighted to be able to return in 2018 with our partners at AIM, BPI, the MPA and PRS for Music.  We are also excited to see the return of a British music showcase as part of the British Music Partnership, giving UK talent the chance to perform overseas.  Midem provides PPL with a valuable platform to strengthen our relationships with global partners as our international division continues to grow with 87 international collection agreements now in place.



Peter Leathem, Chief Executive of PPL

As a partner of the British at Midem stand, all of us at PRS for Music are looking forward to Midem, where we will be flying the flag for great British music as it continues to achieve extraordinary success on the global stage. The music industry is a people business and Midem is one of the biggest and best occasions for those people to come together, so it is a delight to be playing an important role supporting songwriters, composers and publishers at this year’s event.

Nigel Elderton, PRS for Music Chairman

Midem This Year 

  • Music is GREAT presents: British Music Night showcasing the best of upcoming British musical talent on the Sunset Stage at Midem Beach, Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France, with Wildwood Kin, Nina Nesbitt and Tokio Myers headlining the slot.
  • On the stand international industry companies will have the opportunity to meet the Association of Independent Music (AIM), the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), Music Publishers Association (MPA), Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), PRS for Music, the Department for International Trade and a number of other key UK music industry experts.
  • DIT has released a thought leadership paper that explores the latest trends and innovations in British music and profiles 15 ambitious startups. Copies of the whitepaper will be available both online and at the UK stand at Midem.

About AIM –

The Association of Independent Music (AIM) is a trade body established in 1999 to provide a collective voice for the UK’s independent music industry.

AIM represents over 800 music companies, from the largest independent labels in the World to underground stalwarts, DIY artists, start-ups and independent distributors. AIM promotes this exciting and diverse sector globally and provides a range of services, discounts and events to members, enabling them to grow, grasp new opportunities and break into new markets.

AIM was instrumental in the creation of Merlin, the global digital rights which ensures that independents have a vehicle to protect and enhance their ability to compete in the ever changing world of digital music. In 2006 AIM worked with sister organisations across the globe to set up the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), in response to business, creative and market access issues faced by the independent sector everywhere.

The AIM Independent Music Awards is the leading ceremony for independent music, shining a spotlight on the great wealth of talent to come out of the most exciting and forward thinking sector in the UK. The AIM Awards is proud to recognise the real heroes of music; those who do things their own way, make incredible music and inspire us all with their creativity, commitment & spirit.  

About the BPI –

The BPI is the record labels’ association that promotes British music, protects artist rights and content, and champions the UK’s recorded music sector – the world’s fourth largest. Its membership consists of over 400 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘major’ companies, which collectively account for around 85 per cent of domestic music consumption and one in eight artist albums sold worldwide. 

The BPI helps to promote British music sales overseas through the Music Exports Growth Scheme, which since 2014 has awarded over £2.6m in government funding to 178 successful applications aimed at promoting a diverse range of British artists overseas.

About MPA –

The Music Publishers Association (MPA) represents the full range of the UK’s music publishing sector. It acts on behalf of 280 members ranging from the UK’s largest and most established music publishers to independents and start-ups. These companies are the engine room of British music, they support our music makers and drive an extraordinary cultural and economic success story.  
Music publishing generates over a quarter of the UK music industry’s £2.5 billion in export revenue and British songwriters wrote or co-wrote 21 of the top 100 selling works in the US in 2016. As well as safeguarding and championing the interests of its members, the MPA aims to promote the value of publishing to the wider music industry, creative industry, government and the general public. 

About PPL –

Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for tens of thousands of performers and record companies.  We license recorded music in the UK when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices etc.) or broadcast (BBC, commercial radio, commercial TV etc.) and ensure that revenue flows back to our members.  

These include both independent and major record companies, together with performers ranging from emerging grassroots artists through to established session musicians and influential festival headliners.  

PPL has a market-leading international collections business, with 83 agreements in place across 39 countries, helping members to maximise their revenue when their repertoire is played overseas.  We collected £197 million in the UK and internationally in 2015 and paid over 71,000 performers and record companies.

About PRS Foundation –

PRS Foundation is the UK's leading charitable funder of new music and talent development across all genres. Since 2000 PRS Foundation has given more than £23.6 million to over 5,300 new music initiatives by awarding grants and leading partnership programmes that support music sector development. Widely respected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, PRS Foundation supports an exceptional range of new music activity – from composer residencies and commissions to festivals and showcases in the UK and overseas.

UK acts Dream Wife and Be Charlotte have been supported to perform at this year’s Midem through PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund which offers support for UK artists to take their first steps into international territories by enabling them to perform at key showcasing festivals and conferences such as Midem.

About International Showcase Fund

The International Showcase Fund is run by PRS Foundation, in partnership with the Department for International Trade, Arts Council England, British Underground, Musicians' Union, PPL, Wales Arts International, Creative Scotland and PledgeMusic. The fund currently offers support for UK artists to take their first steps into international territories by enabling them to perform at key showcasing festivals and conferences such as Canadian Music Week, Midem, SXSW, CMJ, Womex, Eurosonic and Jazzahead, which attract thousands of people working in the music industry from every corner of the globe.

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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