Dutch Music Industry, an Important Export Commodity

The Netherlands is well known for its global exports of flowers, innovative technologies, water management systems, and sustainable energy products… not to forget its bicycle infrastructure. But few know about the growing importance the Dutch music industry plays as a world export – an export worth €201 million in 2017!

DJ performance

DJ performance

The €201 million export value was an increase of 0.26% over 2016. The €201 million comprises: copyrights (€22.5 million), recordings (€12.4 million), performances (€166.5 million).

Dutch music authority Buma Cultuur surveyed 1277 artists and concluded that 958 of them were active abroad in 93 countries.

Dance music

The Dutch dance scene made a large contribution to the music export surge, 75.6% of the total sales abroad. Electronic Dance Music (EDM) performers like DJs Tiësto, Afrojack, Martin Garrix and others, are welcomed guests in venues around Canada and the USA. Buma Cultuur has also  seen rising interests in upcoming markets like China and Spain. Along with the aforementioned, the Asian continent has the most growth potential – in particular Japan, Indonesia and Thailand.

Other music genres

Although EDM is the largest music export from the Netherlands, other genres were also partly responsible for the country’s music export growth. Classical violinist André Rieu played sold out shows throughout the globe: 67 shows in total. Metal band Epica sold out 20 shows in the USA and Latin America. Singer Tim Vantol managed to play 37 sold out shows in Germany alone.

Even the classics like Shocking Blue’s Venus (the first Dutch number-1-hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart back in 1970) and Radar Love by the Golden Earring had a hand in the Netherlands’ music export in 2017.

Music events like Amsterdam Dance Event and Eurosonic Noorderslag, have played an important part in the worldwide success of the Dutch music genre.

Buma Cultuur supports up-and-coming acts through their Dutch Music Export foreign policy. This scheme aids musicians financially and also assists them with marketing, promotion and knowledge exchange. This should further increase the music industry as an important export commodity for the Netherlands in the future.