UK music consumption continued to rise in 2016

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

New figures from UK labels association the BPI reveals that UK music consumption rose again in 2016. The music industry’s second consecutive year of growth saw a 1.5% increase in Album Equivalent Sales (AES) to 123.4 million, reports Music Week. But with CDs sales continuing to decline, along with track downloads, what could be contributing to the increases consumption? Yep, you guessed it. Music streaming.

2016 saw its first ever one billion-stream week in December, with a total of 44.9 billion audio streams taking place throughout 2016, up 67.5% on 2015. The new figures show that streaming now accounts for 36.4% of all UK music consumption.

It’s not just streaming that has contributed to the impressive consumption figures. Sales of vinyl topped the 3 million mark, 52.6% up on 2015 and the highest sales figure since 1991. The death of a number of iconic musical artists in 2016 bolstered vinyl sales, which saw more than 30 titles selling over 10,000 copies each on LP.

David Bowie in particular made a huge impact on sales. His last album, Blackstar, was the year’s biggest-selling vinyl album. Bowie also had four other albums in the Top 30 vinyl albums of the year. “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,” commented Geoff Taylor, chief executive, BPI & BRIT Awards.

“Led by sales of David Bowie, demand for vinyl jumped to levels not seen since the start of the ‘90s, 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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