Value of British music exports surpasses £700 million for the first time as UK artists dominate biggest streamed hits

More than 400 British artists in total each accumulated over 100 million audio streams of their music worldwide in 2022.

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[L-R] Harry Styles and Dave Bayley

Credit: Getty Images

The value of British music exports overseas increased by 20 percent last year to £709 million, the highest annual figure since records began.

A jump of over £100m in a single year was made, meaning the £700m mark was breached for the first time since 2000, when a yearly survey of label overseas income was launched by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

The BPI reports that the record figure came in 2022, a year when UK artists were behind some of the biggest streamed songs on services around the world.

As It Was by Harry Styles was the most-streamed track globally of the year, according to data from Luminate, with Heat Waves by Glass Animals in second place. They were joined in the year’s Top 10 by Elton John and Dua Lipa for their track Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) and Ed Sheeran with Shivers.

More than 400 British artists in total each accumulated over 100 million audio streams of their music worldwide in 2022. This included nearly two dozen who have been granted funding through the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) – a BPI-managed scheme which supports small-to medium-sized independent music companies to build the careers of artists overseas.

The Government also recently announced as part of its Creative Industries Sector Vision that funding for the scheme, which achieves a near 14-1 return on investment according to the BPI, is to be tripled on its current rate by a total of £3.2m over the next two years.

“These record export numbers by UK labels represent an exceptional achievement in the face of unprecedented competition on the global music stage, both from long-established and rapidly-expanding new music markets,” says BPI Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Chief Executive, Sophie Jones.

“They put us on course to reach our goal of £1 billion in annual UK music exports by the end of the decade, but for this growth to continue the UK needs to remain a supportive environment for investment in music, and policy makers should continue to work with industry to maximise the overseas potential of UK music.”

Find out more from the BPI.

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