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Author Topic: The British Are Coming!  (Read 1904 times)

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thepsychicpoirot

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The British Are Coming!
« on: March 06, 2006, 02:56:27 PM »

By Lars Brandle and Emmanuel Legrand

LONDON (Billboard) - Buoyed by the recent American success of such acts as Coldplay, James Blunt and Franz Ferdinand, the British music industry is once again focussing its energy on the U.S. market. And the music community here has found an important ally: the government.

On March 3, Secretary of State for trade and industry Alan Johnson announced a series of initiatives to "help British music companies break into the American market."

"From the Beatles through David Bowie to Coldplay, the U.K. music scene has always led the world, but we have not always capitalised on our talent to break America," Johnson says. "I want to ensure that government works with the industry and our best artists to showcase talent in the U.S."

The government's initiatives include:

- New research on the U.S. music market broken down by region, available free to British music companies;

- Creation of a new-music portal showcasing the latest British music specifically aimed at the U.S. market, jointly developed by the industry and U.K. Trade and Investment (UKTI), an organisation the British government established to foster international trade;

- Training for commercial officers across the network of U.S. diplomatic posts to help them understand the needs of British music companies attempting to enter the market.

James Sellar, secretary general for the Music Managers Forum, admits that in the past the British music industry has been "shy" about joint initiatives with the government. "Because it is a creative industry, I think we were always worried to be associated with the government, but if we were any other industry, no one would bat an eyelid if we worked together with the government in our export efforts," Sellar says.

This government-industry partnership comes as the Brits prepare to send their biggest contingent of executives and artists to the Austin-based festival-cum-trade show South by Southwest, which runs March 15-19. As part of a mission organised by indie labels body AIM and supported by the UKTI, nearly 100 British music companies will have a presence at SXSW. More than 120 acts from the British Isles will perform.

Warner Music U.K.-signed British alternative rock act Hard-Fi will be among the Brits who will perform in Austin.

"Anything that can help has got to be a good thing," the band's frontman Richard Archer says. "Other products get help (in being marketed overseas) by the Department of Trade and Industry, so why not music?"

The UKTI's annual budget for the U.K. music industry is $872,000 (495,827 pounds). About $523,000 is used to help music firms attend exhibitions and set up missions abroad.

Billboard understands that the UKTI will plug $61,000 into British music events at SXSW. The AIM-backed mission incorporates travel grants worth about $78,500.

"We're supporting the U.K. industry to get into the U.S. because it's a priority market for them. It's the largest market in the world, and the share of British music out there has been very low in recent years," UKTI spokesman Alasdair Crewe says.

In recent years, British repertoire's U.S. standing has improved to roughly 8% of the market, up from less than 1% in 1999, according to the UKTI. As recently as 1986, British music is believed to have accounted for about 32% of the U.S. market.

Paul Curran, group managing director of BMG Music Publishing U.K. -- whose roster includes Coldplay, Keane and Hard-Fi -- says there is an increased number of British acts whose music connects with American audiences. But he says the key is touring.

"It is about touring and winning friends and keep making friends," Curran says. "That's how British bands used to do it. Take Coldplay -- they've been touring constantly. It also helps that they make great records."

Curran says the most useful government input would be to put continuous pressure on the U.S. government to ease its immigration policy regarding temporary visas for performers.

Reuters/Billboard
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Nate

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The British Are Coming!
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2006, 03:06:09 PM »

Someone in the government has been reading our thoughts.  

With that in mind, can you come and reclaim America as English property for the good of humanity?
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Dan

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The British Are Coming!
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2006, 03:57:55 PM »

Heh...I was thinking the same thing, Nate.  They don't need all that information - they just need to read r'ville more.  
Quote
"It is about touring and winning friends and keep making friends," Curran says. "That's how British bands used to do it. Take Coldplay -- they've been touring constantly. It also helps that they make great records."

Yup, that's pretty much what we all said.
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Cockney Rebel

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The British Are Coming!
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2006, 04:26:43 PM »

YaYYYYYYYYY - Crazy Frog!!!!!
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rva

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The British Are Coming!
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2006, 05:30:19 PM »

So that's why Paul Revere was wet and sticky!
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