Tuesday 18 February 2014

Music Export Growth Scheme: no strings attached?

"Music Export Growth Scheme opens for second round" is the big headline of a somewhat triumphalist media release from the British government's Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment.  It reads as follows, in relevant part:
"Fourteen talented UK-signed acts will today receive financial support to help market themselves around the world, Trade Minister Lord Livingston announced today. The successful applicants from the first round of the Music Export Growth Scheme were revealed after last night’s BRIT Awards celebrated some of the world-beating UK artists who have helped accelerate British music exports to over 13% of the global market.

The Music Export Growth Scheme has been established by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to help small and mid-sized independent music companies promote their artists overseas as part of wider Government efforts to get another 100,000 businesses exporting. The music companies and acts receiving the grants span the genres of rock/alternative, pop, dance/electronic, urban, classical, jazz and world music and are from London, Glasgow, Sheffield, Wiltshire, Leeds, Nottingham and Monmouth (Wales).

Trade Minister Lord Livingston said:
“...  50 years on from the Beatles arriving in the America, the Music Export Growth Scheme will give more talented young British artists the chance to be successful on the international stage. This scheme is just one of a number of ways UK Trade & Investment helps music businesses to get into the rhythm of exporting."
The artists are: * Afrikan Boy * Beth Jeans Houghton * Catfish and the Bottlemen * Drenge * Filthy Boy * Fred V & Grafix * George Benjamin * Holy Mountain * Melt Yourself Down * Public Service Broadcasting * The Crookes * The Temperance Movement [no relation of The Temperance Seven] * Throwing Snow * Zara McFarlane ...

The scheme, funded by UKTI, will make up to £2.5 million of grants available over a two and a half year period. Further application rounds will take place periodically over the next two and a half years, with the next round now open for submissions until 17 March 2014. Applications are open to all UK music companies meeting the application criteria. Full details can be found at http://www.bpi.co.uk/export-scheme.aspx ..."
In an earlier post on the 1709 Blog, this blogger was speculating about the absence of the word "copyright" from the information on the Music Export Growth Scheme's web page. Does anyone know whether this government support comes at a price and, if so, what that price might be?

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