The latest round of Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) funding sees the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) jointly committing £500,000 to help UK artists drawn largely from the independent community to grow their international profile in overseas markets.
Applications for Round 21 MEGS funding are now open and will close at 11.59pm on 2nd September 2022.
MEGS is an innovative joint funding initiative between Government and the UK recorded music industry, which exists to boost British music exports. It does this by supporting small to medium sized music companies as they build on the commercial potential and profile of their artists in music markets around the world. Since its launch in 2014, the scheme has awarded over £4.5 million in support of around 300 UK music projects, generating £55.5 million in exports revenue for the British music economy - a return of £13.45 for every £1 invested.
This latest funding round follows recent BPI data which showed that British recorded music exports grew by 13.7% to a new annual high of £590.8 million in 2021. The potential for continued growth in the future is ample too, with Goldman Sachs predicting that the global recorded music industry will expand from $25.9bn in 2021 to $53.2bn by 2030. The BPI estimates that the UK has the opportunity to double recorded music exports by 2030 also from £600m to £1.2 billion.
Despite this success, the UK’s share of the global market is under pressure from competing markets including the US and Europe alongside rapidly growing domestic markets such as Latin America and South Korea. Continued Government support and funding therefore through schemes such as MEGS is vital if we are going to maintain our status of the second biggest exporter of recorded music globally.
A diverse range of artists and genres have been supported by MEGS funding over the past seven years, including BRITs and Mercury Prize winner Dave, new wave jazz group Ezra Collective, Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt, grime performer Ghetts and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Among the previous MEGS success stories, electronic music artists Bicep and HONNE, singer-songwriters Beabadoobee, Bruno Major and Rina Sawayama, and Mercury Prize and BRITs winning rock band Wolf Alice each accumulated more than 100 million audio streams in 2021. Leeds rock band Yard Act and pop star Self Esteem are also previous MEGS recipients and have both been shortlisted for this year’s Mercury Prize.
Applications for the next round (21st) of MEGS funding will open on 8th August and close on 2nd September 2022. Successful applicants will be announced later this Autumn.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said:
“The global recorded music market is poised for sustained and rapid growth, but this growth is combined with intensifying global competition. MEGS continues to be a crucial resource for independent artists and labels to help them breakthrough in overseas markets. We are pleased that the Government is committed to continuing to work in partnership with the music industry to maximise the UK’s music exports potential. “MEGS not only delivers for the UK economy but has had supported some our best loved independent artists to achieve global success.”
Andrew Griffith MP, Minister for Exports at the Department for International Trade, said:
“The UK has a global reputation for creating, writing and producing amazing music. In 2020, the UK exported £2.3billion of music around the world, creating jobs and growing our economy.
Through the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS), we’re proud to help UK-owned independent labels and artists grow British music abroad.”
Music Export Growth Scheme details and eligibility:
- 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 overseas, 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 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.
- Applications can be made by any UK SME company for an artist’s overseas touring or promotional activity.
- Anyone with questions should email [email protected] or look at the BPI website here.
Music Export Growth Scheme Impact Report here.
BPI Music Exports Release here.