Australia Becomes Fourth Biggest Market for U.K Music
Australia is the fourth biggest market in the world for U.K. music and last year increased its export value by 8.5% from 2020 to £26.7 million (AU$44. 6 million)
This is gleaned from a new report from the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), the London-based trade body for independent and major record labels.
It shows that the value of U.K. recorded music exports grew by 13.7% to a new annual high of £590.8 million (over A$1 billion) in 2021.
It was the highest since the BPI began its survey of overseas label revenue in 2000.
The new peak was driven by a record number of U.K. artists (nearly 400) achieving 100 million-plus global streams each. That figure was 300 artists in 2020.
Additionally, more than 600 artists achieved 50 million audio streams while over 1,500 surpassed 10 million.
These included not only superstars Adele, Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran, but emerging and breakthrough artists Glass Animals, PinkPantheress and Rex Orange County.
“These record-breaking figures once again highlight the extraordinary popularity of British music internationally,” BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said.
“Recent market estimates suggest the global recorded music industry could double in size by 2030, meaning there’s ample opportunity for more artists to achieve international success and for music to deliver for UK PLC.”
Physical, downloads, streams and other consumption of British music increased in every region globally, including Europe (up 17.6%), North America (up 11.0%) and Asia (up 11.1%).
The biggest market for U.K. music remains the United States where export value grew in 2021 by 10.4% to £228.7 million ($397.7 million).
Follow-ups were Germany which grew 31.3% to £55.9 million ($97.2 million), and France which rose by 20.1% to £36.8 million ($64 million).
Also in the Top 10 export list were Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, China and Spain.
The attraction to U.K. music by Australians is obvious.
Both countries are predominantly English language speaking while being multi-cultural, and British tracks make up from 25% to 28% of airplay on Australian commercial radio.
Connections by promoters and labels with their U.K. counterparts means acts such as Sheeran, Dua Lipa, George Ezra, Glass Animals, Wolf Alice and London Grammar were breaking in Australia at the same as in their home market.
It also works the other way.
It will be interesting to see if Australia manages to retain its No.4 position.
The BPI report noted that in the past 12 months, other countries increased their value to the U.K. exports at a greater rate.
China had a 61.2% year-on-year increase, Latin America was up 12.7% and Canada by 18.0%.
The BPI used these figures – as well as the rise of acts from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East on the global platform to compete with U.K. acts – to argue to government that “a supportive policy environment that ensures the U.K. maximises its export potential” is needed.
Taylor pointed out how effective government-funded initiatives such as Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) were.
MEGS provides vital funding for indie labels and artists to expand their businesses overseas. More than 60 acts that benefitted from the scheme generated at least 20 million global streams last year.
Some like Wolf Alice – who went Top 10 in Australia with “Blue Weekend” and are touring here in spring – generated 100 million streams.
Those who surpassed 50 million streams last year also made their presence felt in Australia.
They included Filipino-British indie rocker Beabadoobee Beabadoobie who this week entered the ARIA Charts at No.19 with “Beatopia” while Rina Sawayama who also crossed over has promised fans she’ll tour here.
Other alumni like EDM act Bicep, metalcore band While She Sleeps and singer-songwriters Nina Nesbitt and Bruno Major have toured Australia, EDM act HONNE is due this year and a Change-org petition was begun to get indie pop group Kero Kero Bonito to play shows.