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Streaming, downloads and physical sales have generated nearly as much revenue as the mid-90s Britpop era - and smart speakers might push it even higher.

The music industry is as strong as ever. Although the days of Oasis, Blur and Pulp are behind us, the revenue they generated has been matched this year - so says the British Phonographic Industry.

The combined income from streaming, downloads, physical sales like CDs and vinyl, and licensing for use in media saw a 10.6%  year-on-year rise to £839m in 2017.

Streaming services like SpotifyTidalAmazon MusicApple Music, and Deezer are the main source of this increase - combined revenue from those companies increased by 41.1%.

Revenue from vinyl records rose by 24% - meaning it's now one-fifth the size of the CD market. Perhaps high-definition vinyl can make that grow even further.

Record companies are hoping that big names like Ed Sheeran, Little Mix, Stormzy and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man will push growth even further.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI and the Brit Awards, puts the success down to increasing awareness about the benefits of music streaming as well as new developments like smart speakers. The Amazon Echo and Google Home have a secure place in many people's homes - Apple's HomePod, however, not so much.

The long-rumoured possibility of YouTube launching a premium music service would also boost sales, should it ever come to fruition.


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