Press release

Hitting the high note: government targets lucrative Chinese music industry

Latest round of Music Exports Growth Scheme funding announced.

Audience at a music concert.

The government is set to launch a ‘Music Mission’ to China to tap into the lucrative Chinese music market - worth £134 million in 2015 – and has announced the latest financial grants awarded as part of the Music Exports Growth Scheme (MEGS) to help promote the rising music stars of the future.

Music is big business in China, with digital revenues rising by 69% in 2015. UK artists currently make up around 5% of the top 100 chart entries in China and the Department for International Trade (DIT) wants to help British talent access this growing market with a week-long mission in Beijing (24 April to 1 May).

The China music mission is being organised by DIT in partnership with industry bodies AIM (Association of Independent Music) and the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), and will feature conferences, artist showcases and music company visits.

Alongside this activity, the latest round of Music Exports Growth Scheme funding has been awarded to further boost international music exports. A total of just over £140,000 has been made available to 12 UK acts ranging from singer songwriter Lucy Rose, whose songwriting started with her writing tunes on her family’s piano, and Northern Irish singer Ciaran Lavery, an exciting talent from the tiny village of Aghagallon in County Antrim.

International Trade Minister, Mark Garnier, said:

The UK is a global leader in the music industry - from Adele to Ed Sheeran, music is one of our most important exports.

We are now launching our ‘Music Mission’ to China so we can tap into the lucrative Asian market as part of an outward looking Global Britain.

Alongside this, we are targeting grants at the musical stars of the future who will hopefully follow in the footsteps of the big names who have led the way in our export successes.

Emmy Buckingham, Membership and International Manager at AIM, said:

Since our last mission to China in 2007 AIM has been encouraged by advances in Chinese copyright law which are creating valuable market opportunities. This trade mission comes at an opportune time to equip British music companies with the vital intelligence and contacts they need to develop their business in this complex region.

Through DIT’s scheme, which is funded by the GREAT Campaign and run by the BPI – the UK record labels’ association – dozens of artists have been awarded grants to build on their growing UK success and break into overseas markets.

Now in this ninth round of funding, MEGS has awarded nearly £2 million of government investment to promote over 130 UK artists internationally since its launch in January 2014.

Commenting on the latest MEGS award, BPI Director of International Chris Tams, said:

The beauty of the scheme is that it is helping a diverse range of artists, who have the talent but not always the means, to achieve their potential in overseas markets and, in the process, boost British music exports.

Since the scheme began 3 years ago, for every £1 invested we’ve seen an average return of around £10, which is hugely encouraging and underlines the vital role that government can play in supporting the success of British music around the world.

DIT re-launched the Music Export Growth Scheme in October 2016, making up to a further £2.8 million available in grants through to 2020 to help small and medium sized music companies – the vast majority independent, music labels, distributors and management companies export to overseas markets.

Applications for the next round of MEGS funding are being received from 1 May 2017.

For details please visit:

Further information

Contact the DIT Media and Digital Team on 020 7008 3333

Follow us: @tradegovuk,



Notes to editors

Full list of MEGS recipient music companies and acts (Round 9 funding, 21 April 2017):

Music company Act Artist website
Bad Life Management Ten Fé
Believe Recordings Ciaran Lavery
Bsessi Shura
Cannibal TRAAMS
Dirty Hit The Japanese House
Floating Productions Floating Points
Full Time Hobby Casey
Hall or Nothing Seafret
Moshi Moshi Records Meilyr Jones
Parton Creations Lucy Rose
Ragtime Records Electric Swing Circus
SB Management Sundara Karma

About AIM

The Association of Independent Music (AIM) is a trade body established in 1999 to provide a collective voice for the UK’s independent music industry.

AIM represents over 800 music companies, from the largest independent labels in the World to underground stalwarts, DIY artists, start-ups and independent distributors. AIM promotes this exciting and diverse sector globally and provides a range of services, discounts and events to members, enabling them to grow, grasp new opportunities and break into new markets.

AIM was instrumental in the creation of Merlin, the global digital rights which ensures that independents have a vehicle to protect and enhance their ability to compete in the ever changing world of digital music. In 2006 AIM worked with sister organisations across the globe to set up the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), in response to business, creative and market access issues faced by the independent sector everywhere.

The AIM Independent Music Awards is the leading awards ceremony for independent music, shining a spotlight on the great wealth of talent to come out of the most exciting and forward thinking sector in the UK. The AIM Awards is proud to recognise the real heroes of music; those who do things their own way, make incredible music and inspire us all with their creativity, commitment and spirit.

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) promoting british music

The BPI is the record labels’ association that promotes British music and champions the UK’s recorded music sector. Its membership is made up of around 390 independent labels and the UK’s 3 ‘major’ companies, which collectively account for around 80% cent of domestic music consumption and one in six artist albums sold worldwide.

Published 21 April 2017
Last updated 21 April 2017 + show all updates
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