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UK Record Industry Gears Up For Fourth Japanese Trade Mission
By Mi2N
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From today, 30th July, and all this week, the BPI will lead a delegation of independent UK music companies to Tokyo for five days of networking, meetings and presentations with some of the biggest names in the Japanese music industry this summer.

Japan is one of the most complex markets for UK music companies to access, but with a music-conscious population of over 128 million it is the second largest music territory in the world, with sales of 353M units supporting a 420billion market (2bn) at trade value.

Developments in digital, particularly mobile, combined with economic recovery helped Japan's domestic music market show 6% growth in 2006.

Domestic repertoire is dominant in Japan but the market for international music is increasing; up to 25% in 2005 from 19% in 2000, and UK artists feature heavily on the bill at Japan's summer festivals. The UK's share of the Japanese import market grew from 8.5% in 2003 to 10% in 2005. Working with UK Trade & Investment and the British Embassy in Tokyo, UK record labels are looking to gain a foothold in this expanding market for UK repertoire.

With networking events and bespoke presentations made up, delegates have been extensively briefed on both the workings of the Japanese music industry and the rules of etiquette that are vital to doing deals in Japan.

BPI international manager Matt Glover said: "There's little doubt that UK music is thriving creatively and that there is a strong overseas demand for it. However, doing effective business in Japan requires not only detailed understanding of a very unique and complex music market, but also empathy for the culture and the long process of relationship building."

"Music is one of the UK's greatest exports, which is why globally speaking we're second only to the US as a source of repertoire. By working in partnership with UKTI and the British Embassy in Tokyo, the BPI is able to help open doors for independent labels in key overseas markets."

The companies on this years mission are: Acrobat Music Limited, Alamo Music Limited, Bliss Music, British Underground, Chevstar, Concept Music, Demolition Records, Eleven 78 Records Limited, Harewood Farm Studios, Inner Circle Universal Recordings, Invisible Hands Music,, Pure Mint Recordings, Red Alert, Revolver Music Limited, Rightsman Limited, Snake Davis/Skin Records, Sonic Vista Recordings Limited, ZTT Records Limited and Warp Records; with 16 Tons Limited having to withdraw.

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