Figures released this week by the BPI show British artists and surge in streaming help to deliver another £1 billion-plus year for the UK recorded music business.
Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith enjoy a stellar year with million selling albums as the next exciting wave of young British talent comes through.
Nearly 15 billion songs are streamed as digital now accounts for 51 per cent of UK music consumption.
Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and George Ezra are among the British acts leading the charge to a record breaking performance as the entire top 10 artist albums come from home-grown talent ‘ the strongest performance by British artists since Official Charts records began.
The best-selling artist album in each of the past 10 years has now come from a British act.
Two albums, Ed Sheeran’s ‘x’ (1.7m) and Sam Smith’s ‘In the Lonely Hour’ (1.25m), achieved well over 1m unit sales during the past 12 months, a feat no artist album achieved in 2013. Ed Sheeran’s sales are the highest since Adele’s ’21’ in 2011.
Four of the top 5 most streamed artists in 2014 and seven out of the top 10 were British.
14.8bn audio streams, 560 for every UK household1, accounted for 12.6 per cent of the music consumed in 2014 and 17 per cent of retail music spend; the launch of major new streaming services in 2015 is expected to further boost demand as streaming increasingly goes mainstream.
The surge in streaming helps to offset the decline in CD sales and the maturing downloads format to keep the retail value of recorded music above the £1 billion threshold (£1,030m).
The vinyl revival continues as unit sales reach the 1.3 million mark for first time since 1995. Pink Floyd’s ‘The Endless River’ is the year’s biggest seller, ahead of Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood.
‘Frozen’ spends the entire year in the compilations chart top 10 as a constant best seller achieving nearly 1m sales, though ‘Now 89’ ends up the sector’s biggest release as the ‘Now’ range continues to drive demand.
OFFICIAL CHARTS MOST STREAMED SONGS 2014 (audio streams only)
1. Clean Bandit/J.Glynne Rather Be Atlantic/Atlantic Records UK (Warner Music UK)
2. Pharrell Williams Happy Columbia/RCA Label Group (Sony Music Entertainment UK)
3. John Legend All of Me Columbia/Columbia Label Group (Sony Music Entertainment UK)
4. Mr. Probz Waves Left Lane Recordings/RCA Label Group (Sony Music Entertainment UK)
5. Sam Smith Stay With Me Capitol/Capitol (Universal Music UK)
6. Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud Asylum/Atlantic Records UK (Warner Music UK)
7. George Ezra Budapest Columbia/Columbia Label Group (Sony Music Entertainment UK)
8. Ed Sheeran Sing Asylum/Atlantic Records UK (Warner Music UK)
9. Pitbull ft. Kesha Timber J-Mr 305-Polo Grounds/RCA Label Group (Sony Music Entertainment UK)
10. Magic Rude RCA / RCA Label Group (Sony Music Entertainment UK)
OFFICIAL CHARTS MOST STREAMED ARTISTS 2014 (audio streams only)
1. Ed Sheeran Asylum/Atlantic Records UK (Warner Music UK)
2. Sam Smith Capitol/Capitol (Universal Music UK)
3. Arctic Monkeys Domino Recordings
4. Eminem Interscope/Polydor (Universal Music)
5. Calvin Harris Columbia/RCA Label Group (Sony Music Entertainment UK)
6. Coldplay Parlophone / Parlophone (Warner Music UK)
7. One Direction Syco Music / Syco Music (Sony Music Entertainment UK)
8. Beyonce Columbia/RCA Label Group (Sony Music Entertainment UK)
9. Katy Perry Virgin/Virgin EMI/(Universal Music)
10. Bastille Virgin/Virgin EMI/(Universal Music)
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