Music Industry in the UK Reaches an All-Time High as Streaming Services Increase Phenomenally

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In what is being considered as a major milestone for the UK music scene, the music industry in the UK has been moving by leaps and bounds, thanks to a surge in streaming services and the revival of vinyl recording sales, according to the latest industry figures.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has stated that consumption of music has increased by 1.5% in 2016, which is equivalent to over 123m albums. Equating to a total retail value of about £1bn in 2016, the figures include physically bought albums, in addition to both downloaded and streamed songs.

Surprisingly enough, there has been a phenomenal rise in the sale of vinyl records; a whopping 3.2m records were sold this year – 53% higher than last year and the highest annual total since 1991, when the most popular LP was Simply Red’s Stars. Needless to say, the situation has really turned around since 2007, when the total sale of vinyl records in the UK was a mere 200,000, according to the BPI. But that said, vinyl LPs now take up almost 5% of the albums’ market.

This was, however just one of the many key findings printed in the report by BPI.

The BPI report has further revealed that the main cause of surge in the UK music scene was due to the phenomenal increase in the streaming sector. In 2016 alone, over 45bn audio streams were served, their popularity having gone up by over 2/3rds (68% to be precise) since 2015, and over 500% since 2013.

The report also revealed that thanks to this phenomenal increase, audio streaming now takes up over 1/3rd i.e. 36.4% of UK’s total music consumption, equating to around 1,500 audio streams per household in the UK.

In addition to all of this, over 1bn songs were streamed within one week in December 2016 – a jumping to what the BPI calls the growing popularity of streaming as a fan-favourite.

Geoff Taylor, the Chief Executive Officer of the BPI said, “Growth in UK music consumption in 2016 was fuelled by the explosive rise in audio streaming, which has increased 500% since 2013, and relative resilience from physical formats.”

Led by sales of David Bowie, demand for vinyl jumped to levels not seen since the start of the Nineties, and fans also bought and collected music on CD that they are discovering and enjoying through streaming services in ever larger numbers.

“We believe this performance is indicative of the promise of a new era for music, where recorded music’s investments in a digital future fuel compelling benefits for fans, artists and the entire music ecosystem.”

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