THE Music Export Growth Scheme Impact Report 2019, published today by record labels association, the BPI, reveals that over the scheme’s lifetime, £36 million in exports revenue has been generated for the British music economy – £12 for every £1 invested in the scheme*.
Launched in 2014, the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) is administered by the BPI and funded through the Department for International Trade as part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign. It 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.
To date the scheme has supported 242 successful applications (rounds 1-16), and the diverse range of artists who have benefitted have reported multiple business wins with 53 record deals, 47 publishing and sub-publishing deals, and 135 synchronisation licensing deals as well as a host of press and festival
Artists supported across a host of genres include Mercury Prize winners Wolf Alice and Young Fathers, and BRITs Mastercard British Album of The Year and Mercury Prize winner Dave, alongside acts such as Welsh rockers Catfish & The Bottlemen, Mercury Prize shortlisted Anna Calvi, new wave jazz group Ezra Collective, Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt, saxophonist YolanDa Brown, grime performer Ghetts,
and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Applications totalling £24.5 million have been made to the scheme, with £3.8 million granted following rigorous application processes. Almost all the acts (94 per cent) supported have been signed to an independent label, with just over half (55 per cent) the funding supporting marketing and touring in North America, and around a third (35 per cent) spent on promotional activity in Europe.
Geoff Taylor, chief executive, BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “The Music Export Growth Scheme is a highly-successful partnership between Government and the private sector promoting UK exports. Britain has a great tradition of promoting its music across the planet – the UK punches well above its weight as the largest exporter of music in the world after the US – and the Music Export Growth Scheme is an increasingly important foundation underlying this track record.
“I would like to thank The Department for International Trade (DIT) and the GREAT campaign – and the teams there – for their continued support and investment in the Scheme.”
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Notes for editors
* This calculation based on returns for the first 14 rounds of funding
About the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS)
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 sixth year since its launch in January 2014, MEGS has awarded over £4 million in support of 262 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.
· 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 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.
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
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