Export Toolkit



1. Export Strategies

2. Digital rights

3. Support and Funding

4. International 101

5. Conclusion


What is the Music Export Toolkit?

This Toolkit is designed to provide those involved in creating original new music and/or sound the necessary information, tools, and advice on working internationally and exporting one’s music: in other words, we designed this to help you help yourself, particularly if you do not have the support of a publisher or agent. From advice on how to market yourself correctly, collate your assets and protect your music through to export strategies, this Toolkit will provide a step-by-step guide to taking your music abroad. This study is directed primarily at composers who have already gained some profile in the UK, but its information and checklists will also be useful for emerging composers and aspiring students.

Many composers and artists told us that working internationally, and having a productive international network of artistic and professional contacts, was a top priority for them. The reasons given for that were broadly twofold: artistic development and professional success (including more offers of work, invitations, fees, commissions, and other revenue opportunities). We’ve created this Toolkit particularly to help composers navigate the second of these.

It is theoretically possible for a composer to achieve international success and recognition on the basis of talent alone, but a closer examination reveals that in almost every case success is underpinned by artistic and professional networks and contacts, as well as finding the right international contexts for an individual’s musical or artistic style to thrive. Almost every well known composer or creative artist will have territories in which s/he is successful, but others in which it appears impossible for their music to get off the ground. Doing your research will help you use your time and energy effectively, and hopefully prove more rewarding and fulfilling over time.

In creating this Toolkit, we want to demystify and offer practical advice to composers seeking to work internationally. We use the language of business and markets here, since not only is there much to be learnt from how organisations and people have tackled this in the world beyond the arts, it will also help you to be businesslike in your approaches and negotiations and to understand the environment around you and what shapes people’s responses to you and your music. This will help you, and it will also protect you from wasting your time or, worse, being exploited.

Lastly, in creating this Toolkit we have drawn not only on our own and Sound and Music’s insider knowledge, experience and expertise, but on that of many composers who contributed thoughts and ideas. Thank you.

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