Media Release: British independent label acts receive exports boost in latest round of Government-funded investment


BPI-run Music Exports Growth Scheme (MEGS) awards £249,385 to UK indie music labels and companies to support 21 acts in their overseas promotional touring and marketing

Applications for next round of MEGS funding are now being received

THE GREAT Britain campaign-funded Music Exports Growth Scheme, run by the BPI, which has already awarded £1.6 million of government investment to promote over 100 UK artists internationally since its launch in January 2014, has now made a further quarter of a million pounds available to the UK’s independent music sector.

The £249,385 awarded to labels and management companies in this eighth round of MEGS funding will contribute to the marketing and promotional costs of 21 British acts as they look to build their profiles and fan-bases and promote their releases overseas through live tours, digital engagement and other activities.

The recipient artists range from MOBO winning jazz saxophonist, Yolanda Brown, and Welsh singer-songwriter, Cate Le Bon, to eclectic folk performer, Luke Sital-Singh, synth wave act, GUNSHIP, and alt rock group, Phoria.

BRIT School graduate, Jamie Isaac, is also among the new talents being funded alongside r’n’b artist, Moelogo and electro-dance pop four-piece, Boxed In.

The Department for International Trade, through support from the GREAT Britain campaign, relaunched the scheme in partnership with the BPI in October 2016.

This made up to a further £2.8 million available in grants through to 2020 to help British acts and independent labels export their music to overseas markets.

With the UK music industry contributing over £4 billion to the UK economy in 2015, it plays a key role in showcasing the best of British talent across the world. After the US, the UK is the largest exporter of music in the world and in 2015 alone British acts produced five of the global top 10 best-selling albums.

Small and medium-sized companies are eligible to apply for MEGS grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 to help promote their UK acts around the world, giving them the opportunity to go global with their talents.

BPI director of International, Chris Tams, said: “The Music Exports Growth Scheme promotes an incredibly diverse range of music that isn’t typically part of the mainstream but deserves to reach a much wider international audience.

“Smaller labels don’t always have the means to market their talented artists overseas, which is where the scheme can make a vital difference, helping to boost not only their profiles and fan-bases, but the UK’s music exports in the process.

“We had an excellent response to this latest round of funding – with nearly a 100 applications submitted. Narrowing this down wasn’t easy, but we’re delighted to award nearly a quarter of a million pounds to 21 acts – close to matching the largest amount we’ve given to date.”

International Trade Minister, Mark Garnier, said: “The UK music industry is hugely influential and continues to inspire millions across the world. In 2015, music contributed over £4 billion to the UK economy and five of the world’s top ten selling artists were British.

“In the three months since the re-launch of the Music Exports Growth Scheme in October, we have awarded almost a quarter of a million pounds of funding to UK acts looking to break into international markets.

“Britain has an incredible pool of raw talent and, through our GREAT campaign, we will continue to help budding artists take the next step towards global success.”

MOBO-winning singer-saxophonist, YolanDa Brown, said of her MEGS grant: “Music has the power to spread love, inspire and unite people.

“I want my music to travel without limits and reach new audiences. As an independent artist, everything from recording the music to touring, marketing and press is self-funded. I am grateful to be awarded a Music Export Growth Scheme and excited to cross borders with my music.”

A spokesperson for Marathon Artists speaking on behalf of BRIT School graduate Jamie Isaac, said: “2016 was Jamie Isaac’s breakout year.

“We’re fortunate in the digital age to know exactly where our audience sits, and there’s a huge proportion of it in America. Now, with the help of MEGS funding, we’re finally able to reach them – and further still, to expand that audience.

“In the era of streaming, nothing can solidify the relationship with fans like a great show. The tour will allow us to promote Jamie throughout the key regions of the States, opening up new revenue streams through record sales and merchandise, as well as solidifying licensee relationships for future releases.

“A great tour, accompanied by a great run of promo from our US team, will firmly establish Jamie Isaac as an international artist with a certified fan-base to engage with, and, most importantly, it will set up international revenue streams coming back to the UK.”

Julian Deane, Raygun Records, said of recipient Luke Sital-Singh: “We’re beyond delighted to be awarded funding for Luke.

“We’ve already made great headway in terms of licensing Luke’s music for TV in the US, and this award will go a long way to us having the ability to promote Luke beyond his current position in creating a real on-the-ground fan-base. These are tough times, and this will make a huge difference as we look to break Luke as an international artist.”

MEGS recipients, GUNSHIP, said: “The Scheme presents a fantastic opportunity for artists like GUNSHIP. A limited marketing budget for our debut album campaign forced us to learn how to make the most of every penny and to grasp every opportunity to innovate with our strategy.

“With the award of this funding we will be able to take that same mentality and be exponentially more effective in growing our already-passionate US fan-base. This time our neo 80’s retro futuristic assault has just been turbo charged!”

MEGS recipients, Mt. Wolf, said: “It truly is a great privilege to be awarded the funding for the Music Exports Growth Scheme, thank you very much for believing in us and our music! We’re really excited as this funding will give us an opportunity to tour Europe next year, and hopefully to build a fan-base in many territories we’ve never explored before.”

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21 acts to benefit from this of MEGS funding are: for full blogs, quote and images, click here.

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About the GREAT Britain campaign

The GREAT Britain campaign is the Government’s most ambitious international marketing campaign ever, and showcases the very best of what our whole nation has to offer in order to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.

About the Department for International Trade (DIT)

The Department for International Trade is responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to us. It is tasked with developing, coordinating and delivering a new trade and investment policy to promote UK business across the globe; developing and negotiating free trade agreements and market access deals with non-EU countries; negotiating plurilateral trade deals (focused on specific sectors or products) and providing operational support for exports and facilitating inward and outward investment.

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) Promoting British Music

The BPI is the record labels’ association that promotes British music and champions the UK’s recorded music sector. Its membership is made up of over 380 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘major’ companies, which collectively account for around 80 per cent of domestic music consumption and one in six artist albums sold worldwide.

Gennaro Castaldo
Director, Communications

BPI | County Hall | Westminster Bridge Road | London | SE1 7JA
Tel: +44 (0)20 7803 1326 | Fax: +44 (20) 7803 1310


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