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More British music may flow after trip

By Bo Leung in London | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-02 07:15

Representatives of Britain's music industry and the Department for International Trade visited China recently seeking new ways for the United Kingdom to benefit from the country's lucrative pop market.

The weeklong trip to Beijing, which concluded on Monday, was part of the UK government's Music Mission, which aims to help bands and stars break into the Chinese charts. Currently, UK artists comprise about 5 percent of the acts in China's top 100.

So far, China's music market is worth about 134 million pounds ($171 million) a year. The Beijing trip pushed for a more through mixture of conferences, artist showcases and visits to Chinese music companies.

The Department for International Trade organized the mission in partnership with the Association of Independent Music and the British Phonographic Industry.

Gennaro Castaldo, a BPI spokesman, said, "British music is hugely popular around the world - it has become the UK's international calling card and is arguably more important than ever as the UK looks to form new trading relationships post-Brexit."

Castaldo said the Chinese market offers "huge untapped potential" to musicians from around the world and is "the most exciting opportunity on the horizon", as Chinese consumers increasingly look West and spend more of their disposable income on music and entertainment.

"The mission is making some great contacts," Castaldo said. "It's likely that more UK and global artists will visit China in the years ahead to build their fan bases and help realize China's potential as one of the world's most important music markets."

Emmy Buckingham, membership and international manager at the Association of Independent Music, said, "Since our last mission to China in 2007, AIM has been encouraged by advances in Chinese copyright law that are creating valuable market opportunities."

Some 12 UK acts, including singer-songwriter Lucy Rose and Northern Irish singer Ciaran Lavery, will benefit from the latest round of funding through the Music Exports Growth Scheme that aims to further boost music exports. The government program, which has awarded nearly 2 million pounds of investment for UK artists, helps British musicians build on their domestic success to crack overseas markets.

The global success of artists including Adele, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran helped music exports rise by almost 10 percent in 2015, while contributing 4.1 billion pounds to the UK economy.

boleung@mail.chinadailyuk.com

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