UK music strikes festive chord Down Under thanks to new trade deal

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"The creative industries are a true British success story, from global music stars like Adele and Ed Sheeran to world-class cultural institutions like the National Theatre." Photo credit: Stephen Lavoie - iRocktography: Copyright: Creative Commons

The UK’s trade deal with Australia is ringing in festive cheer this year, having helped British music companies expand Down Under ahead of the festive period. 

  • UK music businesses feel benefits of Australia trade deal which slashed tariffs and cut red tape for British exports. 
  • London-based music tech company expands presence Down Under to help musicians recoup royalties over lucrative Christmas period. 
  • British musicians featured in three of the top 10 Christmas songs in Australia last year.

The UK’s free trade agreement with Australia is ringing in festive cheer this year, having slashed tariffs and helped British music companies expand Down Under ahead of the lucrative festive period. 

Backed by British legends Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney, London-based music tech company Audoo produce smart listening devices, or Audio Meters, which are placed in pubs, shops and bars to identify when and where music is being played and ensure musicians are paid for that play. 

The UK’s trade deal with Australia has made exporting for Audoo easier, slashing tariffs on their product, simplifying paperwork and speeding up the customs process. This has helped them more than double the number of Audio Meters found in Aussie venues, rolling them out across all major cities including Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide, ensuring musicians are paid fairly over the festive period – a key time for sales. 

British Christmas bangers feature heavily during Australia’s festive period, with three of the top 10 songs last year featuring UK artists. 

According to Bloomberg, in 2018 artists and record companies were losing out on almost $3 billion in unaccounted royalties each year. 

Minister for Trade Policy Greg Hands said:

British music is rocking around the world’s Christmas trees for a reason and Australia is no exception, with our iconic tunes ringing out across Aussie cities over the festive period. 

All our music artists really want for Christmas is to get the payment they deserve, regardless of where their song is being played. Our trade deal with Australia makes it easier for businesses like Audoo to expand Down Under and fill our stars’ stockings with well-earned royalties. 

Audoo Founder & CEO Ryan Edwards said:

Launching across Australia has been a major step in our journey as a proud British business growing on a global scale. The free trade agreement helped us accelerate our implementation ensuring our mission to deliver accurate data for fair royalty distribution.

Melbourne took the crown as the most festive Aussie city in 2022, with Christmas songs accounting for 34% of all music played from November to December 31st, rising to 43% in December. 

The UK-Australia free trade agreement came into force in May 2023 and under its beneficial terms tariffs on all UK goods exports to Australia have or will be removed, making UK products more competitive in the Australian market. 

This is the first trade deal that the UK has negotiated from scratch since leaving the European Union and is expected to increase trade with Australia by 53%, boost the economy by £2.3 billion and add £900 million to household wages each year in the long run. 

The deal also cuts red tape that was faced by more than 13,000 small and medium-sized businesses across the UK who already export goods to Australia, ensuring goods leave customs quickly.

Source: Department for Business and Trade and The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP

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