UK dominates European music sales


British artists were responsible for nearly one in four albums sold in Europe during 2015, according to BPI data

In the six biggest export markets for the UK in Europe, British artists claimed almost one in six album sales during the year. 

Almost all (95 per cent) of BPI members produce recorded music and services commercially available in EU markets. 

Ninety per cent of respondents to a BPI survey reported that it was important for the UK to have an influence in framing rules that govern the sale or use of British music in Europe.

Some 70 per cent said the EU was either very important or quite important to their future prospects. 

Adele led the strong performance by British artists in 2015. But there was also an impressive showing by a broad range of other UK acts, with ColdplayEd SheeranMark RonsonMuseSam Smith,One DirectionMumford & SonsGeorge EzraThe ProdigyCalvin HarrisSteven Wilson, to name a few, as well as heritage acts such as Iron Maiden and Pink Floyd, each experiencing chart success across Europe to underline the strength in depth that the UK currently enjoys.

More here.


Worldwide music success


Exports from the UK music sector grew by 13 per cent to £2.5bn in 2016, underlining the UK's position as the second largest provider of music repertoire in the world. UK music exports generated £2.2bn of revenue during the year - or more than half of the £4bn Gross Value Added of the music industry, according to Measuring Music 2017, the annual economic survey from UK Music.



(Official data)


  • The UK music industry generated £2.2bn of exports in 2015. This is almost 54 per cent of the music industry's Gross Value Added (GVA), which is twice the UK economy's average. (1)
  • Export sales were distributed across musicians and composers (£946), music publishing (£520m), recorded music (£360m), music representatives (£268m), live music (£57m) and music producers, studios and staff (£24m). The biggest growth areas for exports were in live music (up 35 per cent year on year) and recorded music (up 8 per cent). (1)
  • The UK market represents 9 per cent of global music revenues in 2012. (2) 
  • The UK remains one of the few net exporters of music, with royalties from abroad outweighing the payments sent outside of the country. (1)
  • Between 2012 and 2015, the total contribution to the economy has risen by 17 per cent, while exports and employment have both soared by 11 per cent. In that time live music exports have shot up by 90 per cent.(1)
  • The top-selling global artist album has come from a British act in eight of the last 11 years (2005-2015). (2)
  • UK artists' share of album sales in North America stood at a 10-year high in 2015 - 17.6 per cent in the US and 22 per cent in Canada. Adele's '25' was the best-selling album of the year in both the US and Canada. (2)
  • UK music sales were strong across Europe in 2015. In nine of the past ten years, UK acts have accounted for over 15 per cent of album sales in Germany (16.4 per cent in 2015), while Adele, Muse and Coldplay helped UK artists’ share in France rise to 15.5 per cent (from 11.5 per cent in 2014). British music has always been well received in the Netherlands and share reached 33.4% in 2015 – no fewer than 26 of the top 100 albums of the year were by British artists. (2)

  • UK artists’ share of world album sales increased to 17.1 per cent in 2015, up from 13.7 per cent in 2014. This is the highest share on record.(2)

1. Measuring Music, UK Music, 2016

2. BPI Yearbook 2016