THE latest round of Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) funding has seen £250,000 awarded in support of 20 British acts drawn mainly from the vibrant UK music indie scene.
The BPI-run scheme is funded through the Department for International Trade as part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign and is designed to boost British music exports by supporting small to medium-sized music companies as they look to build on the potential of their artists in overseas markets.
In this latest round of funding, music companies representing a diverse range of British musicians have been backed to grow and amplify their artists’ presence in key and growing markets, including in the US and Canada, Australia, Japan and China as well as across Europe.
Artists to benefit in this 16th round include 2019 Mercury Prize shortlisted Dave, BRIT-nominated Blossoms, experimental pop project Self Esteem, Liverpool-based quartet Ladytron, singer-songwriter Tom Speight, Bristol collective Elder Island, London Jazz musician Yussef Dayes, and afrobeats artist Afro B.
See Notes for editors for the full list.
The scheme has to date supported 242 successful applications to the tune of £3,767,106.76.
The companies funded estimate their total financial returns to be just over £36million – equating to around £12 for every £1 invested by the scheme (in its first 14 rounds).
The acts supported have reported multiple business wins, including 53 record label deals, 47 publishing and sub-publishing deals, 135 synchronisation licensing deals as well as numerous festival appearance offers, TV, radio and press promotional opportunities.
A Department for International Trade spokesperson said: “The music industry contributes hugely to our economy. The Music Export Growth Scheme celebrates the best of British music and helps UK acts to launch their careers abroad. We look forward to continuing to help unlock the global potential of up-and-coming artists with the next round of funding.”
Chris Tams, BPI director of International overseeing the MEGS programme, said “It is amazing to see the Music Export Growth Scheme going from strength to strength and flying the flag for British music overseas. This funding is even more important today with uncertainty around Brexit. MEGS now sees a return of around £12 for every £1 invested, highlighting the importance of UK music to our exports and the wider economy.”
Ladytron manager, Steve Pross, said: “With the collapse of PledgeMusic many British artists and their fans around the world have taken a hit to their finances and morale. I applaud the BPI for helping ameliorate the impact of Pledge’s failure with the Music Export Growth Scheme. This fund allows Ladytron to invest in marketing for its two North American tours this Fall to help broaden and grow its audience base. We are eternally grateful.”
Punk rock band, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, said: “MEGS has been integral to our development internationally. We are an independent band with our own label and it can be difficult to fund the kind of loss-making touring that just has to take place to gain ground overseas. The MEGS grant helps to lower the loss and maintain our momentum as a dynamic and exciting rock band on the global stage.”
SSJM Management’s Conrad Murray said, on behalf of Blossoms: “We are grateful to the BPI for providing funding for Blossoms to assist them in their quest to break to America. The funds will be of great assistance.”
Self-releasing artist, Love Ssega, said: “I’m beyond proud to receive MEGS funding. For a self-releasing, self-producing artist such as myself, this is a humungous co-sign from the BPI and DIT! Creative British music has always had an impact on the international stage and I am glad my work in different areas and live potential is being recognised.
“This award will enable me to return to China, which is likely to become one of the biggest music markets. The place is so exciting and moving fast, so I’m glad the BPI can see my vision fully. I can see the demand, so as a British act, I want to be there early and set the tone. From South London to Shanghai, the sky’s my limit, and this MEGS Award takes me that step closer to the moon.”
Singer-songwriter, Tom Speight, said: ‘‘I want to send MEGS, the BPI and DIT a massive thank you for giving me the opportunity to tour America/Canada in October, This wouldn’t be possible without their support, I’m so incredibly grateful for them getting behind independent acts such as myself and giving musicians a chance to help promote their music overseas.’’
Applications for the next round (17th) of MEGS funding are now open and closing the 2nd of September. For more details on the Music Export Growth Scheme please visit the BPI website here: <https://www.bpi.co.uk/news-analysis/music-export-growth-scheme/>
BPI at Darren.Kruse@bpi.co.uk
or firstname.lastname@example.org on 0207 803 1300/ 07801 194 139
DIT media and digital team on 020 7008 3333 / Follow: @tradegovuk |great.gov.uk
Notes for editors:
Full list of MEGS recipients in the 16th round of funding:
* Afro B
* Alex Francis
* Amber Run
* Elder Island
* Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
* John Smith
* Love Ssega
* Moses Boyd Exodus
* Our Girl
* Pulled Apart By Horses
* Self Esteem
* Tom Speight
* Yussef Dayes
About the MEGS
Many smaller to medium-sized music labels, distributors and management companies, which are often independently owned, achieve remarkable success when launching their artists in the UK.
However, their limited resources and the sheer cost of marketing overseas means it can be a real challenge for them to replicate this success internationally. This, in turn, creates the risk that significant commercial opportunities may be missed, not just for these companies and their artists, but ultimately for the wider UK economy through lost exports.
The Music Export Growth Scheme has been created to help address this issue, offering small and medium-sized music companies with the potential to achieve increased international success the opportunity to apply for grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 that will support their marketing overseas and the promotion of specific artist releases.
Now in its fifth year since its launch in January 2014, MEGS has awarded around £3.8 million to over 240 diverse British music projects across a variety of genres including pop, rock, grime, jazz, folk, electronic, and classical.
Some of the acts who have received MEGS funding include Mercury Prize winners Wolf Alice and Young Fathers, BRIT Award winners and Welsh indie rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen, jazz saxophonist YolanDa Brown, grime artist Ghetts, and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Forty per cent of the funding awarded by MEGS has gone to female music acts or acts featuring female artists in their line-up, while nearly a quarter (24 per cent) went to artists with a BAME background. This funding has helped artists from across the UK to travel to countries in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. To date, there has been a return of £12 for every £1 invested through the Music Export Growth Scheme, generating an estimated £36 million for the UK music economy.
· Companies will be eligible to apply for the scheme if they meet the Government’s criteria on small and medium enterprises (SMEs): annual turnover of €50m or less and no more than 249 employees.
· Eligible companies can apply for grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 by presenting detailed campaign proposals to a specially-appointed selection board. The presentations would need to detail how any grant would be invested in effective marketing and other promotional activity oversees, such as through artist showcases, tour support, social media and publicity. Before agreeing to a grant, the board members would need to feel persuaded that the plans have a strong chance of succeeding in meeting their objectives.
· Companies must part-fund from their own resources, demonstrating their own commitment to the proposed activity. A company will not be able to receive more than two grants per year, while the total sum that it receives over the duration of the scheme may not exceed the state aid limits that apply at the time.
· The selection board, which is independently chaired, meets three times a year to consider applications. It is made up of a diverse range of over 20 industry experts and representatives drawn from a number of music organisations as well as from the BPI and DIT and includes a professional/business advisor.
· The scheme is managed by BPI as the accredited trade organisation. This includes marketing the fund and its benefits to the music sector; advising on applications before they are submitted; administering the award of grants; and monitoring the impact of approved campaigns against agreed performance criteria.
· The scheme supports Government’s promotion of exports including under the GREAT campaign.
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)
BPI champions the UK’s recorded music industry, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL. BPI’s membership consists of over 400 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘majors’, which account for 85 per cent of legitimate domestic music consumption. BPI promotes British music overseas through its trade missions and the Music Exports Growth Scheme. It provides insights, training and networking with its free masterclasses, Innovation Hub, Insight Sessions, and reports. The BPI administers the Certified Awards, co-owns the Official Charts, organises The BRIT Awards and is also home to the Mercury Prize.
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