Britain’s Music Streaming Market Tops £1 Billion for the First Time Ever

Britain's Music Streaming Market Tops $1 Billion for the First Time Ever

Echoing a report from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) says that sales from music streaming last year exceeded £1 billion ($1.3 billion) in the United Kingdom for the first time.

The organization also found that music streaming helped overall music sales in the country increase by more than 7%. Total music sales in the U.K. were £1.4 billion ($1.8 billion).

These numbers are not surprising considering that BPI reported that U.K. consumers streamed 114 billion songs in 2019.

Like in BPI’s report, the ERA found that the market for physical media has fallen sharply. It fell by 17% to £318 million ($418 million).

What was also similar to BPI’s report was the increase in sales of vinyl records, in spite of the overall fall of physical media. Vinyl record sales rose 6.4% to £97 million ($127 million).

But the fall in physical sales in the U.K. was more than offset by a dramatic increase in music streaming revenue.

Sales from music streaming in the country rose a whopping 23%. The £1 billion figure represents a four-fold increase in spending in just five years. It is also more than 30 times the amount spent on music streaming a decade ago.

Just as BPI reported that Lewis Capaldi’s song “Someone You Loved” was the most streamed song in Britain last year, the ERA found that Capaldi’s album Divinely Inspired to a Hellish Extent was the biggest selling album in the country. It sold a little more than 640,000 copies, with 60% of this number coming from streaming and other digital sources.

Finally, the ERA found that music sales in the U.K. have surged in the last decade. They reported a 19.1% increase in sales since 2010, when total sales in the country were £1.2 billion ($1.6 billion at current exchange rates.)

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Kim Bayley, who is the CEO of the ERA, issued the following statement in conjunction with the report:

“As more and more people sign up to streaming services, it obviously becomes a challenge to maintain the same rate of growth. But the fact is UK music fans spent £190 million more on subscription streaming services in 2019 than they did the year before.”

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