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The Year In Numbers

Figures released this week by the BPI, (based on Official Charts Company data) shows a continuing trend towards consumption from streaming services to deliver another year of £1 billion-plus sales (£1,030m) for the UK recorded music business in 2014.  This performance is broadly in line with 2013, dipping just 1.6 per cent less in terms of retail value.

Commenting on another strong year for British music, Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI and BRIT Awards said: “The remarkable success of British artists in 2014 is exciting news for the future. Our record labels are backing home-grown talent who in turn are catching fire around the world”.

He continued: “With major new premium services from Apple and YouTube set to boost subscription streaming even further in 2015, we believe the UK’s world-leading music industry is strongly positioned for future expansion”.

At the risk of sounding like a foray into Farageophilia – here are the figures:

  • Nearly 15 billion songs are streamed as digital now accounts for 51 per cent of UK music consumption
  • Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and George Ezra are among the British acts leading the charge to a record breaking performance as the entire top 10 artist albums come from home-grown talent – the strongest performance by British artists since Official Charts records began.
  • The best-selling artist album in each of the past 10 years has now come from a British act.
  • Two albums, Ed Sheeran’s ‘x’ (1.7m) and Sam Smith’s ‘In the Lonely Hour’ (1.25m), achieved well over 1m unit sales during the past 12 months, a feat no artist album achieved in 2013.
  • Ed Sheeran’s sales are the highest since Adele’s ‘21’ in 2011.
  • Four of the top 5 most streamed artists in 2014 and seven out of the top 10 were British.
  • 14.8bn audio streams, 560 for every UK household1, accounted for 12.6 per cent of the music consumed in 2014 and 17 per cent of retail music spend; the launch of major new streaming services in 2015 is expected to further boost demand as streaming increasingly goes mainstream.
  • The surge in streaming helps to offset the decline in CD sales and the maturing downloads format to keep the retail value of recorded music above the £1 billion threshold (£1,030m).
  • The vinyl revival continues as unit sales reach the 1.3 million mark for first time since 1995.
  • Pink Floyd’s ‘The Endless River’ is the year’s biggest seller, ahead of Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood.

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