UK Music Consumption


According to a release by the BPI, the music labels' association, based on Official Charts Company data, 142.9 million albums or their equivalent were either streamed, purchased or downloaded in the UK during 2018.  These sales had an estimated retail value of £1.33bn.

This represents a 5.7 per cent rise on 2017 and marks a fourth year of consecutive volume growth. Some 91 billion audio streams were served – including 2bn streams in a single week for the first time.  Audio streaming accounted for nearly two thirds of all UK music consumption during the year.

It is expected that over 100bn audio streams will be served in the UK during 2019. Since 2014, combined UK sales and streams have grown by 22 per cent.

George Ezra's 'Staying at Tamara's' was the biggest-selling album released during 2018, though the soundtrack to 'The Greatest Showman' was the biggest overall seller.

The year included successful releases from Dua Lipa, Arctic Monkeys, Rag'n'Bone Man, Jess Glynne, and Rod Stewart.

There were also 4.2m sales of vinyl LPs, a rise of 1.6 per cent, marking the 11th consecutive year of growth for vinyl.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said there was another strong performance from the British recorded music business in 2018, with new talent also being nurtured through initiatives such as the BRITS 2019 Critics' Choice award. However, he added that a hard Brexit could endanger future growth. 

Sources:  BPI release
Published: January 2019


Music sector size and value


Latest industry data estimates that the core music industry made an estimated economic contribution - also known as Gross Value Added or GVA - of about £4.5bn to the UK economy in 2017 and supported 145,815 jobs. 

UK acts such as Ed Sheeran, Rag'N'Bone Man and Dua Lipa were among the world's biggest selling acts and UK music exports were worth £2.6bn. 

The total audience for live music in the UK was 30.9m with 27m attending concerts and 3.9m going to music festivals.

The £4.5bn of music revenues in the UK market, represents a 2 per cent annual increase. Musicians, composers, songwriters & lyricists generated £2bn, Live Music was worth £991m, Recorded Music totalled £700m and the figure for Music Publishing was £505m.

The £2.6bn of UK export music revenues included £719m for Music Publishing (£649m), £468m for Recorded Music and £348m for music representatives.

Source: Measuring Music, UK Music.

Published: November 2018


The UK music market has overtaken that of Germany to become Europe's largest music market by revenues. 

The combination of revenues from digital and physical music formats, performance rights and sychronisation (from the use of music in advertising, TV, film and games) grew by 3.1 per cent in 2018 during 2018, compared to a decline of 9.9 per cent in Germany and a flat market in Europe as a whole.

Among UK music artists, George Ezra has been one of the biggest breakout stars in the last five years, with his debut album going into the top 10 in multiple countries and its follow-up, 'Staying at Tamara's', the biggest selling UK album of 2018.  

Source: Global Music Report 2019, April 2 2019.

UK Music revenues


UK record company trade income - revenues generated by sales and streams across all format and from syncs - rose 10.6 per cent to £839.5m in 2017, according to the BPI's 2018 yearbook

The figures represent the highest rate of growth for the sector since 1995, and the increase was driven by 9.5 per cent growth in music consumption during 2017. This growth was due increases in streaming, where revenues rose by 41.1 per cent, and by the resurgence of vinyl sales (one in every 15 album purchases in the UK during 2017 was on a vinyl format).

Eight of the top 10 selling artist albums in the UK during 2017 were by UK acts, and UK artists topped the singles table (the UK was second to the US in the singles table of 2016).

The share of music consumption attributed to UK acts slipped in 2017, but was up in Canada, France and Germany with Ed  Sheeran and Rag 'n' Bone Man proving popular in international markets.

Source: All About the Music 2018, BPI
Published: April 2018.



Music tourism


The UK's music attractions including festivals, concert venues and musical heritage sites, generated an estimated £4bn of direct and indirect spend in 2016. (i)

It is calculated that 12.5m people journeyed to musical events - 'music tourists' - in 2016, meaning that about 40 per cent of the audience for music events comprised tourists.

The number of musical tourists to the UK has risen by 76 per cent since 2013. In addition, there were an estimated 47,445 full time UK jobs in 2016 supported by musical tourism. (ii)

Musical tourists spent an average of £850 a head on tickets, transport, accommodation and related costs, amounting to about £4bn of revenue for the UK.

Sources: (i)  Measuring Music 2017, UK Music; (ii) Wish you were Here 2017, UK Music.



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