Streaming surge behind UK music sales' 20-year high

According to figures released by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), music revenues grew by 9.6% in 2017 – nearly double 2016’s 4.6% growth rate – marking the biggest annual rise since 1998.

That’s mostly down to the growth of paid streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer and Tidal, which tallied revenue of just over £577m - up nearly 42% from 2016.

These services served 68.1 billion streams, according to figures released the BPI (a record label body representing the UK’s recorded music industry), based on Official Charts Company data.

That’s compared to downloads’ £165m (down -23.1% from 2016) and physical sales’ £459.4m (down 3.4%). Despite the latter, which was due to a fall in CD revenue, vinyl continued its decade-long resurgence, up nearly 34% to £87.7m.

It’s a win for digital services on a broader scale too, with music, video and gaming sectors capturing 71.9% of last year’s total entertainment sales value.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.