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UK music exports generated £4bn in 2022, but an industry body has warned that the sector needs more government support to compete internationally.

Tom Kiehl speaking at a panel debate
Interim Chief Executive at UK Music Tom Kiehl has warned that the UK needs more government support to compete on the golbal stage.

Bob Fallon

The UK music industry needs greater government backing to continue to compete in the global market, a leading figure in the sector has said.

Statistics published today by UK Music show that music exports generated £4bn in 2022. Tom Kiehl, Interim Chief Executive at the body said that while the headline statistics are “fantastic", steps must be taken to ensure the UK continues to compete on the global stage.

“The competition for international markets is intensifying rapidly," he said.


"The UK’s competitors are increasingly well-funded and can often count on far more support from their governments. South Korea, Australia and Canada have invested heavily in music and cultural export offices to help grow their overseas markets.

“The UK has several successful export schemes, such as the Music Export Growth Scheme and the International Showcase Fund.

“However, we need far more support – otherwise, we risk the UK being left behind in the global music race, and that would be a bitter blow for music industry and a missed opportunity to grow our export market.”

A report on the data, published today by UK Music, reveals that music exports were aided by sales and streams of British artists outside the UK, the performance of UK-copyrighted compositions and master recordings, songwriting, music publishing and live shows by UK artists overseas. 

Globally the overall recorded music market grew by 9% in 2022, driven primarily by emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, with the UK predicted to achieve music exports of £1 billion a year in those regions by 2030.

The report also reveals the sector contributed £6.7bn to the domestic economy last year, employing a total of 210,000 people.   

Increased funding 

In response to the report, Minister for Exports Lord Offord said that the government is tripling funding for the Music Export Growth Scheme to "ensure the next generation of UK artists and Small and midsize enterprises can continue to champion British music abroad.”

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer added: “We are investing millions to boost music venues, helping artists crack overseas markets and supporting the talent pipeline, while also working with the sector to tackle the challenges and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence."

A headshot of Mary Stone