U.K. labels trade body BPI has appointed Jo Twist as its new chief executive, replacing Geoff Taylor who exited the London-based organization in December after more than 15 years at the helm.
Twist has been CEO of Ukie, the U.K. trade body for the games and interactive entertainment industry, since 2012 and was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to the creative industries in 2016. BPI’s chief strategy officer, Sophie Jones, will continue as interim chief executive until Twist takes up her role in July.
The labels trade body celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and represents the U.K. arms of all three major labels, as well as more than 500 British independents. BPI says its total membership accounts for approximately 85% of legal music sales in the United Kingdom and around one in 10 streams globally.
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Last year, a record 159 billion music tracks were streamed in the U.K., up 8.2% on 2021, and the equivalent of 166 million albums were streamed or purchased across digital and physical formats, up 4.3% on the previous 12 months, according to BPI figures.
The U.K. is the world’s third biggest recorded music market behind the U.S. and Japan with sales of just over $1.8 billion in trade value, according to IFPI’s 2022 Global Music Report.
In a statement announcing her appointment, Twist said she was looking forward to supporting BPI label members and the wider music community “in fully realizing the value of music – growing the market, boosting exports and ensuring the recognition and backing the industry deserves.”
“The industry’s talent, so passionately nurtured by innovative major and independent record labels, is world leading, and the BPI plays an important role in creating an environment where labels and their artists can thrive,” said Twist, who sits on a number of industry and charity boards, including the Creative Industries Council.
Prior to joining Ukie, Twist held senior roles at the BBC and commercial U.K. television station Channel 4 and was awarded a doctorate by Newcastle University in 2001. BPI chair Yolanda Brown said the incoming chief executive’s “fresh perspective” and “rich breadth of experience” across the creative industries will prove invaluable to the organization’s members “as we navigate great changes in our industry.”
Among Twist’s duties as head of BPI is overseeing the BRIT Awards, the U.K.’s biggest annual music awards show, and the Mercury Prize, its independent-leaning sister event, recognizing what judges determine to be the 12 best albums of the year by U.K. and Irish artists.
BPI also runs a number of international trade functions, including its annual LA Sync Mission event, and administers the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS), which awards U.K.-based indie artists and labels grants of between 5,000 pounds ($6,000) and 50,000 pounds ($60,000) to help them break international markets.
In 2021, more than 60 U.K. artists whose music was streamed at least 20 million times worldwide received funding from the scheme, including Bicep, Beabadoobee, Wolf Alice and Rina Sawayama.
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