U.K. labels association the BPI is teaming up with funding body UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in an attempt to ease British independents' access to the German recorded music market, which earlier this year was confirmed as Europe's largest.
The bodies are jointly organizing a two-day networking and seminar program at the British Embassy in Berlin, September 21-22. The trade mission will look to inform attendees about various specific aspects of the markets in the Germany/Switzerland/Austria (GSA) region and allow them to connect with potential business partners.
Panels and presentations will cover various sectors, including licensing, publishing, retailing, distribution, marketing, promotion, live and social networking/digital. The event will also include a networking evening reception hosted at the embassy.
According to BPI director of international events Julian Wall, the GSA region's combination of "easy accessibility, familiarity with U.K. music and culture and relatively developed markets" makes it extremely suitable for British companies to do business. He predicts that the mission will provide "a mass of opportunities for our members to meet other companies from the region and lay the foundations of doing business together for years to come."
Wall adds that, in volume terms, U.K. artists accounted for 17.9% of Germany's recorded music sales in 2010, while nine of the artists in national labels body BVMI's year-end top 40 albums chart (compiled by Media Control) were British. They included singer/songwriter Amy MacDonald, pop band Take That and Phil Collins.
According to the IFPI, the trade value of the German market was €1.06 billion ($1.41 billion) in 2010, a drop of 4.1% on 2009. That compared to the U.K. figure of £896 ($1.38 billion) following an 11% year-on-year fall and was enough to make Germany the world's third-biggest recorded music market, behind the United States and Japan.
Attendees are expected to pay their own travel and accommodation costs in addition to the £120-plus tax ($196) cost of the actual event. Interested parties are invited to contact the BPI (Debi.Blackgrove@bpi.co.uk).