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In 2021, music consumption in the UK has risen for the seventh year in a row

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The UK’s hunger for music has not eased in 2021, with BPI annual figures showing consumption growing by 2.5 per cent.

British Phonographic Industry (BPI)Using official Charts Company data, it found that 159 million albums, or their equivalent, were broadcast or purchased in all formats by music fans in the UK last year.

Total consumption in the UK is mainly streaming (83 per cent), with more than 147 billion individual audio streams, up 5.7 per cent from 2020. That’s the equivalent of 132 million streamed albums.

The numbers are linked to an increase in investment in artists, including new acts and smart marketing. 2021 was the seventh year in which consumption growth was observed.

Adel, 2021. CREDIT: Simon Emmett / Press

British artists Adel, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Dave, Elton Jon, The Queen and Fleetwood Mac It made up eight of the top 10 albums of the year in the UK – see this list below.

Official Albums Schedule 2021:

01. Adel – “30”
02. Ed Sheeran – ‘=’
03. ABBA – “Travel”
04. Olivia Rodrigo – “Nordon”
05. The Queen – “The Most Amazing Hits”
06. Dua Lipa – “Kelajak Nostalgia”
07. Ed Sheeran – “÷”
08. Elton John – “Diamonds”
09. Fleetwood Mac – “50 Years: Don’t Stop”
10. Dave – “We Are Alone Together”

In 2021, nearly 2,000 artists (1918) were broadcast more than 10 million times in the UK (typically four times as many as global trends). That’s 1,798 in 2020 and 1,537 in 2019, a quarter more than in those two years.

According to a BPI report, this means that almost twice as many shares will receive meaningful royalties as in the CD era.

In the physical industries, more than 14 million CDs were purchased and 5.3 million vinyl LPs, 185,000 cassettes were sold.

A total of 4.6 million albums have been downloaded. Overall, Stream accounts for 83 per cent of music consumption in the UK, while vinyl LP accounts for a quarter of all purchases in physical format.

Warner Vinyl
A customer is leafing through vinyl at a disc store. CREDIT: Getty Images

Jeoff Taylor, CEO of BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize BPI, said: “As our lives continue to be interrupted, the past 12 months have reminded us once again of the important role that recorded music plays in our lives.

“At the same time, the rise of streaming has allowed more artists than ever before – from different backgrounds and eras – to build new fan bases around the world and build successful careers in music, while record labels continue to provide the necessary investment and support. For the development of British talent and reaching a truly global audience.

The news also came after a recent report by BPI Vinyl sales in 2021 were the highest in the last 30 years despite the common problems of lagging behind and delays.



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