British Phonographic Industry

Music industry trade association in the UK
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British Phonographic Industry
British Phonographic Industry.svg
AbbreviationBPI
Formation1973; 49 years ago (1973)
Legal statusNonprofit organization 22
PurposeMusic industry in the
United Kingdom
Location
Region served
United Kingdom
Membership
British music companies
Chair
YolanDa Brown
Chief executive
Geoff Taylor
Main organ
BPI Council
Websitewww.bpi.co.uk

British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is the British recorded music industry's Trade association. It runs the BRIT Awards, the Classic BRIT Awards, National Album Day, is home to the Mercury Prize, and co-owns the Official Charts Company with the Entertainment Retailers Association, and awards UK music sales through the BRIT Certified Awards.

Structure

Its membership comprises hundreds of music companies including all three "major" record companies in the UK (Warner Music UK, Sony Music UK, & Universal Music UK), and over 450 independent record labels and small to medium-sized music businesses.

The BPI council is the management and policy forum of the BPI. It is chaired by the chair of BPI, and includes the chief executive, chief operating officer (COO) and the general counsel. In addition it includes 12 representatives from the recorded music sector, six from major labels, two each from the three major companies, and six from the independent sector, which are selected by voting of all BPI independent label members.[1] As of 2021, the council members were:[1]

History

It has represented the interests of British record companies since being formally incorporated in 1973 when the principal aim was to promote British music and fight copyright infringement.

In 2007, the association's legal name was changed from "British Phonographic Industry Limited (The)" to "BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Limited".

In September 2008, the BPI became one of the founding members of UK Music, an umbrella organisation representing the interests of all parts of the industry.

In July 2022, YolanDa Brown was appointed chair of BPI, replacing Ged Doherty who served in that role the previous seven years.[2]

Awards

It founded the annual Brit Awards for the British music industry in 1977, and, later, The Classic BRIT Awards. The organising company, BRIT Awards Limited, is a fully owned subsidiary of the BPI. Proceeds from both shows go to the BRIT Trust, the charitable arm of the BPI that has donated over £26m to charitable causes nationwide since its foundation in 1989. In September 2013, the BPI presented the first ever BRITs Icon Award to Sir Elton John. The BPI also endorsed the launch of the Mercury Prize for the Album of the Year in 1992, and since 2016 has organised the Prize.

The recorded music industry's Certified Awards program, which attributes Platinum, Gold and Silver status to singles, albums and music videos (Platinum and Gold only) based on their sales performance (see BRIT Certified Awards), has been administered by the BPI since its inception in 1973.

The BRIT Trust

The BRIT Trust is the charitable arm of the BPI, the trust was conceived in 1989 by a collection of leading music industry individuals with a mission to give young people a chance to express their musical creativity regardless of race, class, sex or ability. The BRIT Trust is the only music charity actively supporting all types of education across the entire spectrum of music. Through the projects it supports, which include Nordoff–Robbins music therapy & the BRIT School, the Trust offers young people the opportunity to enhance their lives through music. Proceeds from the BRIT Awards and the Classic BRITs shows go to the BRIT Trust, which has donated over £26m to charitable causes nationwide since its foundation.

The BRIT School

Opened in September 1991, the BRIT School is a joint venture between The BRIT Trust and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Based at Selhurst in Croydon, the school is the only non-fee-paying performing arts school in the UK. It teaches up to 1,100 students each year aged from 14 to 19 years in music, dance, drama, musical theatre, production, media and art & design. Students are from completely diverse backgrounds and are not required to stick to their own discipline; dancers learn songwriting, pianists can learn photography. Nor do students have to work/perform in the evening to pay for the tuition; all they have to do is show their determination to succeed in the competitive creative industries.

Certifications

A gold certification for Eric Clapton's album August

The BPI administers the BRIT Certified Platinum, Gold and Silver awards scheme for music releases in the United Kingdom. The level of the award varies depending on the format of the release (albums, singles or music videos) and the level of sales achieved. Although the awards program was for many years based on the level of shipments by record labels to retailers, since July 2013 certifications have been automatically allocated by the BPI upon the relevant sales thresholds being achieved in accordance with Official Charts Company data.

Since July 2014, streaming media has been included for singles and from June 2015 audio streams were added to album certifications. In July 2018 video streams were included in singles certifications for the first time. Streaming's contributions to chart-eligible sales totals for singles and albums are calculated using the methodology employed by the Official Charts Company for consumption at title level.

In April 2018 a new Breakthrough certification was introduced, pertaining to an artist's first album to reach 30,000 sales. Additionally, the program was re-branded as BRIT Certified, with public promotion of the programme being assumed by the BRIT Awards' social media outlets and digital properties. Chief executive Geoff Taylor justified the change by stating that it was part of an effort to cross-promote the certifications with "the UK's biggest platform for artistic achievement".[3]

Format Status[4]
Silver Gold Platinum
Album 60,000[nb 1] 100,000[nb 1] 300,000[nb 1]
Single 200,000[nb 2] 400,000[nb 2] 600,000[nb 2]
Music DVD 25,000 50,000

Anti-piracy operations

The BPI have developed bespoke software and automated crawling tools created in-house by the BPI which search for members repertoire across more than 400 known infringing sites and generate URLs which are sent to Google as a DMCA Notice for removal within hours of receipt.[6] Additionally, personnel are also seconded to the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit to support anti-"piracy" operations.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c The number of sales required to qualify for Platinum, Gold and Silver discs was changed to the current thresholds of Platinum (300,000 units), Gold (100,000 units) and Silver (60,000 units) in 1979 for albums above a minimum RRP. Below the minimum RRP, the thresholds are doubled. Prior to this, the thresholds were based on monetary revenue: Platinum (£1,000,000), Gold (£150,000 from April 1973 to September 1974, £250,000 from September 1974 to January 1977, and £300,000 from 1977 until 1979) and Silver (£75,000 from April 1973 to January 1975, £100,000 from January 1975 to January 1977, and £150,000 from 1977 until 1979).
  2. ^ a b c The number of sales required to qualify for Platinum, Gold and Silver discs was dropped for singles released after 1 January 1989 to the current thresholds of Silver (200,000 units), Gold (400,000 units), and Platinum (600,000 units). Prior to this, the thresholds were Silver (250,000 units), Gold (500,000 units), and Platinum (1,000,000 units).[5]

References

  1. ^ a b "BPI Council Election Results Announced". BPI. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  2. ^ Campbell, Joel (18 July 2022). "YolanDa Brown appointed Chair of the BPI". The Voice. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  3. ^ "BPI rebrands platinum, gold and silver discs as BRIT Certified Awards". www.musicweek.com. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  4. ^ "BRIT Certified – Certification Levels". British Phonographic Industry. 20 April 2022. Archived from the original on 4 April 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  5. ^ Gallup (4 February 1989). "The Top of the Pops Chart" (PDF). Record Mirror: 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 October 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  6. ^ IP Crime Group. "IP Crime Report 2013/14" (PDF): 52. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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