UK music grows by nearly 13 per cent in 2021 to be worth £1.26billion

Revenue from CD, vinyl and other physical formats grew by a huge 14.6 per cent to £241million

UK music industry revenue grew by nearly 13 per cent across 2021, meaning it is now worth £1.26billion.

According to new research and data from the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), the figures mark the seventh consecutive year of growth in the sector.

Revenue from CD, vinyl and other physical formats grew by a huge 14.6 per cent to £241million, with the amount of indie record shops going up (from 390 to 407) contributing to this rise.


Vinyl revenue was up 34 per cent to £117.2m, and, in a more surprising trend, CD revenue was also up (by 1.7 per cent to £115.9m) for the first time in half a decade.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said in a statement about the figures: “The UK music market’s return to growth has been driven by streaming – especially streaming subscriptions, which grew by 13% last year and made up 88% of streaming revenues and 58% of total revenues.

“After a tough few years we are also pleased to see growth across the sector, including in physical formats, sync, performance rights and beyond. This growth yields important benefits for the broader music community, including greater remuneration to a wider base of artists and additional investment by labels in new talent.”

Taylor added: “It is important to remember that even today we still have yet to fully recover from years of decline and that, in real terms, we remain a much smaller industry than 15 years ago.

“We urge the music community to join together to continue growing the market, for example by helping British music secure the largest possible share of streaming growth abroad. That will be an effective way to maximise the success of British music creators and the ecosystem that supports them.”

Ed Sheeran attends The BRIT Awards 2022 at The O2 Arena on February 08, 2022 in London (Picture: Jim Dyson/Redferns)


Last month, it was forecasted that vinyl sales in the UK look set to overtake CDs this year. That’s according to figures gathered by the Entertainment Retailers’ Association (ERA) – based on unit sales provided by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) – which show that 2021 sales point to vinyl becoming greater in value than CDs in 2022.

The CD format, however, looks to have a promising future, as NME columnist Mark Beaumont celebrated recently. The unit sales year-on-year decline of 10.5 per cent was not as steep as in previous years, while revenue was down 3.9 per cent due to sales from premium value box sets.

The news follows the revelation that vinyl sales in 2021 were at their highest level for 30 years despite supply issues over the course of the COVID pandemic. 23 per cent of all albums bought last year were on the format, with ABBA‘s ‘Voyage’ being the biggest seller.

Adele‘s ’30’ and Sam Fender‘s ‘Seventeen Going Under’ – NME’s Album Of The Year – were some of the biggest sellers on vinyl last year.

Campaigns such as LoveRecordStoresRecord Store Day and National Album Day also helped rally sales for independent record shops and specialist chains.

You May Like