A European Music Export Strategy: Final Report

In the context of the Music Moves Europe call for tenders 2018, a study to define a European export strategy was published by the European Commission. This research is the product of a work carried out by a consortium of partners led by Le Bureau Export and EMEE with MICA, KEA and Factory 92.

This project aims to develop a European Music Export Strategy that promotes Europe’s music diversity and talent beyond European borders and that enhances the competitiveness of Europe’s music sector on the international market. The study also takes stock of existing national strategies for music export and complements existing initiatives (including those co-funded by the EU) to encourage the cross-border circulation of emerging talents and repertoire within and beyond Europe, and test ideas for promoting music export in the future, including through Creative Europe.

Read & Download the Study

Key Findings of the Study

After defining what is “music export” and indicating the factors that show the export capacity of a national music sector, the study underlines the current challenges for European music export, highlighting how fragmented the music export market is in the European Union, with sectorial discrepancies within national contexts. That is why, as the study shows, having an export strategy at European level is relevant and needed.

” The music export capacity of artists, professionals and music companies depends heavily on the local music sector ecosystem and its level of development ”

The report also identifies the lack of data on sector level as a major hurdle to develop proper strategies : The feasibility study for a European Music Observatory commissioned by the European Commission is an important first step to address this issue.  

The study then defines a strategy for European music export, determining specific objectives into 6 steps to achieve:

STEP 1: LEARN Creating the conditions for the European music sector to access relevant knowledge and understanding of domestic, European and international music markets.  
Tool A : a resource center
Tool B :
an annual one-week fact-finding mission in a key non-EU music market, consisting of establishing relevant local contacts that seek out and prepare new partnerships  
STEP 2: GROW Laying down the conditions for the European music sector to structure itself, reinforce its operational and professional capacity, and be better equipped to bolster its export potential.
Tool A: Export mentoring programme
Tool B: Export professionals exchange fund
Tool C: Co-creation fund  
STEP 3: CROSS Providing the music sector with a relevant and tailor-made framework of support mechanisms to substantially increase its export potential within the EU.  
Tool A: Cross-border mobility fund
Tool B: Cross-border marketing fund  
STEP 4: RISE Providing the music sector with a relevant and tailor-made framework of support mechanisms to substantially increase its export potential in key international markets beyond EU borders. Tool A: European Music promotion initiative
Tool B: International showcase fund
Tool C: Showcase fund to non-EU countries
Tool D: European trade missions  
STEP 5: EXCHANGE Creating opportunities for the development of a music export framework as a “two-way street”, enabling more international music professionals to discover European music through activities organised in the EU.  
Tool A: International delegations tour
STEP 6: MEASURE Developing European indicators, data collection mechanisms and measurement frameworks which enable the accurate assessment of existing economic and cultural parameters, current and future challenges, opportunities and areas of progress in the field of music export.  
Tool A: European data collection structure  

The study also highlights regulatory measures to remove obstacles to music mobility:

  • The recognition of the specific working regimes of artists and cultural professionals;
  • Withholding taxes;
  • The issuance of travel documents (visa).

Although this study identified that the capacity and opportunities for music export depend on the development and structuration of local music scenes and actors, this latter matter stays in the hands of Member States. Live DMA wonders whether this support to local music actors staying at national level would not deepen the imbalances between the national music sectors, and encourage cooperation and specific measures to be included in the objectives of a European export strategy.