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How the Dutch Profit From Exporting Artists All Over the World



Over these last decades Dutch Artists are being a staple at every mayor music festival around the world. The questions that raise, how does such a small country as the Netherlands fare with being one of the biggest exporter of music artists? In a recent study done by Perfect & More BV they stated that the export value of Dutch music rose to 198 million euros in 2023, yielding 15 percent more than a year earlier.

Perfect & More’s research focuses on the most important forms of exploitation of Dutch popular music on the foreign market: Rights (copyright and neighboring rights), Recordings and Performances. A total of 1,236 artists were surveyed in 2023. Of these, 837 Dutch artists were active in some way outside the Netherlands. A total of 10,746 foreign performances were registered in the past year.

“It was quite exciting, given the inward-looking trend that can be observed in more and more countries. With that in mind, these numbers are nothing short of fantastic. If we look at the developments in the longer term, we assume that we are heading for a record value in 2024. So we are almost back where we left things during Corona. It is important to continue to see this sector as not only a cultural but also an economic. By continuing to invest in export support, we can become one of the largest music exporting countries in the EU.” – Frank Helmink (Director of Buma Cultuur)

In absolute figures: The value that Dutch music exports add to the Dutch economy in 2023 was estimated at more than € 198 million. The increase in export value is largely caused by the large number of performances outside our national borders. The reopening of the Chinese market is an important contribution, but Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Chile and Colombia were also growth markets in the past year. The value of foreign performances amounted to more than 152 million in 2023. Rights generated approximately 38 million and recordings accounted for almost 8 million. The very first measurement in 2004 resulted in a total amount of 31.6 million. The Dutch dance industry has had a major impact on the figures since 2009. In 2009 the share was 33%, in 2023 it would be almost 66%. At the same time, 2023 will still lag behind the peak year of 2018, when the total value was more than 216 million.

This is the result of the research that Perfect & More BV has conducted into the export value of Dutch popular music in 2023. This has been annual research since 2004 on behalf of Buma Cultuur.

Most performing artists

With 121 performances, DJ Tiësto (54) was the Dutch artist who performed most abroad last year. Martin Garrix (27) is in second place with 99 foreign shows, according to a list by Buma Cultuur. In addition to Tiësto and Garrix, other notable artists that flew around the world include Afrojack (94 shows), Chris Stussy (92 shows) and Joris Voorn (87 shows).

Buma Cultuur is dedicated to music from The Netherlands

Buma Cultuur supports and promotes Dutch music copyright in both The Netherlands and key export markets for Dutch music. The aim is to increase the percentage of Dutch music in the Dutch market and foreign markets. Buma Cultuur is founded by the Dutch collecting society Buma.