Europe News

UK’s latest export drive: hipster pop

Jessica Morris, special to

The country that brought you music sensations such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and many more is launching a new initiative to boost its export of hipster music overseas.

Following a meeting with the music industry chaired by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, the U.K. government is teaming up with music industry magnates to launch a British music export scheme.

(Read more: UK record industry postsfirst growth in 4 years)

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The Music Export Growth Scheme is aimed at artists from smaller, independent labels who – due to the sheer cost of marketing overseas -- typically achieve less international success. This translates into missed commercial opportunities for artists, companies as well as the UK economy more generally.

"Independent labels are an important part of what makes British music so special. With global interest in UK artists as such high levels, we want to ensure that indie artists and labels have the best possible change to achieve success overseas" said Geoff Taylor,chief executive, BPI.

The Music Export Growth Scheme – which will allocate £3 million ($5 million) of grants over the next three years to independent music companies and potentially more following its first annual review – will be co-run by the UK Trade &Investment (UKTI) and BPI, which represents the country's record music industry.

(Read more: Online music: Recording industry embraces streaming)

Small and medium-sized record labels -- which the BPI defines or those with an annual turnover of €50m ($68million) or less and no more than 249 employees – will be able to apply for grants between £5,000 and £50,000. The grants, which will support their marketing and promotion of artists overseas, will begin to be awarded later this year.

"It's not just about enjoying the music. This worldwide success means jobs and economic growth back in the UK, so the Government must do all we can to back our winning sectors and ensure their future success" said U.K. business secretary Vince Cable in a statement.

The scheme is part of the UKTI's drive to get more British businesses exporting. It's target of getting another 100,000 British businesses exporting could translate into an additional £36 billion for the U.K. economy.

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