International Trade

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Music SMEs offered funding to promote artists overseas

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Independent music companies with the potential to crack international markets could be set to benefit from millions pounds of grants thanks to a new export scheme launched today.

Funded by UKTI, The Music Export Growth scheme will make available up to £3m worth of grants in £5000-£50,000 portions for international marketing of music releases.

Business Secretary Vince Cable says: “The British music industry is a real success story. We are world leaders in creative talent and our music has been exported all over the world.

“It’s not just about enjoying the music. This worldwide success means jobs and economic growth back in the UK, so the government must do all we can to back our winning sectors and ensure their future success. Today’s money will do just that by helping hundreds of small and medium sized businesses to export more.”

Independent music firms are remarkably successful in the UK despite the dominance of the big three record labels (Universal, Sony and Warner), but can often struggle to market their artists overseas.

The new funds will help them get a foot in the door and also give more industry professionals experience on the international stage.

Korda Marshall is the founding chairman of indie label Infectious Records and has been involved in the development of award-winning artists from Muse to Alt-J. 

He says it can be frustrating for labels that know they’ve got an artist with big potential but don’t have the means to raise their international profile fast enough. 

He adds: “There’s clearly is a huge appetite for British music overseas, so if this new scheme helps to feed this, it can only be good news for anyone that loves British music and wants it to do well.”

The scheme will be managed by BPI, the record label industry association.  

BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor comments: “Independent labels are an important part of what makes British music so special. 

“With global interest in UK artists at such high levels, we want to ensure that indie artists and labels have the best possible chance to achieve success overseas.”

The first round of applications for the scheme will be invited later this month, with the first grants expected to be awarded in December. 

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