The Police were among British acts to tour in 2008
The money made by UK artists overseas increased by £20m last year, the organisation that collects and pays their royalties has said.
UK talent earned £139.6m overseas in 2008 compared with £121.2m the year before, said PRS for Music - formerly known as the Performing Rights Society.
It said international tours by big UK acts including The Police and Iron Maiden had boosted income.
Improvements in working with foreign societies had helped, a spokesman said.
The US was the top-earning foreign territory for the British in 2008, providing an income of £21.7m, followed by Germany with £15.1m and France with £11.7m.
"I think there's a combination of things - I think British music's being used more," PRS for Music head of PR Barney Hooper told the BBC News website.
"I think we're also getting better at liaising with our equivalent societies around the world for collecting.
"We've done a lot of work to improve those links to ensure that, when British music is used over there, the money comes back to us and vice-versa when American music and French music are used in this country."
Other major international tours by British artists in 2008 included those by Coldplay, Spice Girls and Elton John.
"That's had a big impact on it," Mr Hooper said.
PRS for Music says international royalties have more than doubled - from £68m to £139.6m - since 1999
This had been partly due to a boom in digital TV stations around the .world, Mr Hooper added.
Coldplay's album was the bestselling in the world, the IFPI says
"It's not just MTV any more - there's loads of music video channels and loads of commercial radio stations around the world.
"British music is getting picked up a lot."
2008 was a strong year for British acts in the US and other countries.
Four of the top 10 bestselling albums globally were by British artists, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
Coldplay's Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends was the bestselling album, with 6.8 million copies sold, while Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy was fourth with debut album Rockferry, the IFPI said.
Leona Lewis and Amy Winehouse were sixth and seventh respectively with Spirit and Back to Black, even though their albums were released before 2008.
Coldplay and Duffy - together with Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, Adele and Radiohead - were also among British artists to win awards at the Grammys in February.