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Government Support for Music Exports

  • 13 March 2014, Thursday
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When you’re working as a musician you know that your income can come from a lot of different places. Artists often make a living from a combination of royalties, physical and digital sales, and funding from labels or other organisations. Funding is not always easy to get hold of, or widely available. However, most countries are interested in supporting and encouraging the creative industries (to varying degrees), and appreciate the revenue brought in by music sales.

On launching the Music Export Growth Scheme last year, the Chief Executive for UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) Nick Baird said: 

Mumford and Sons, Ed Sheeran, One Direction and, of course, Adele are just some of the British artists who dominate music charts around the world, contributing over £100m to the UK annually through sales of their music overseas as well as promoting our arts and culture. The Music Export Growth Scheme will help smaller to medium-sized music labels establish more UK artists internationally and help us meet our target of getting another 100,000 British businesses exporting – an increase which could add £36 billion to the economy.” 

 This example confirms that the music industry is part of the economy, and can receive investment. Governments, royalty collection societies, independent organisations and charities are increasingly recognising that independent labels and artists can make more great music with a little bit of financial support. The selection process for this sort of funding can be pretty harsh, and it is not always the best approach for all types of musicians. However, we thought it would be helpful to research some of the options that are currently available, as part of our on-going mission to support modern musicians:


Initiative Musik GmbH is the government’s platform for funding contemporary music, supporting growth, export, and cultural integration. Check out their atlas with information and funding opportunities across Germany.

MiZ (Musikinformationszentrum)

Creative City Berlin who help their users to find funding and opportunities across the artistic spectrum.

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) offering musicians support and studying opportunities.

GEMA (Germany’s royalty collection society) works with organisations like „Initiative Musik“ and the „Deutsche Musikautoren-Preis“.

The Goethe Institute (specifically promoting German musicians abroad)


 Swiss Music Export is an active and extremely useful resource in Switzerland, which does what it says on the tin!

 Pro Helvetia The Swiss Arts Council is a federal government funded body promoting artistic creation in Switzerland.

Suisa the Swiss royalty collection society also supports certain projects.


Music Export Growth Scheme supported by the government.

PRS Funding is offered by England’s royalty collection society.

The British Council works closely with UK funding bodies for musicians.

Help Musicians UK is a charity which also lists funding opportunities on their website.

The Musicians Union also offers support and assistance with funding and information.


 The opportunities and funds listed above are inspiring if you want to consider new options and ways of earning. We found some examples of artists who make a living from music in our previous post, showing how many different approaches there are when it comes to making money as a musician. We hope that the industry will benefit from governments supporting the music that their country is producing with pride, and recognising the contribution that musicians make to society.

We’ll be writing more on how the situation in France soon, as the government there has a traditionally generous approach to funding culture which is currently under threat. We will also keep an eye out for any further developments or new funds that become available. Let us know if you have any experiences of public funding for your music that you’d like to share!

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