Official figures released by record labels’ association the BPI, based on Official Charts Company data, underline the continuing strength and depth of recorded music in 20181, with UK consumption across all formats (combined) growing for a fourth consecutive year.
A total of 142.9 million albums or their equivalent2 were either streamed, purchased on physical format, and/or downloaded over the past 12 months – corresponding to a 5.7 per cent rise on the 2017 135.1m figure, and an estimated retail value of £1.33 billion3. Combined UK sales and streams of recorded music have now grown by over a fifth (22%) since 2014.
This continued growth builds on the strong market performance of recent years shaped by exceptional demand for Ed Sheeran’sDivide album in 2017 (3.2m lifetime sales) and Adele’s 25 in 2016 (3.5m). It has also been achieved in the face of an increasingly challenging retail trading environment and uncertain consumer confidence, as underlined by HMV recently going into administration. Whilst 2018 may not have witnessed global smashes on quite the same epic ‘Ed’ and ‘Adele’ scale, the sheer breadth and depth of the music now being streamed along with continued purchasing of new and catalogue releases on physical format encourages the view that more people are consuming more music than ever before.