Independent labels score 21st century sales share high

Indie releases currently count for a 26.4 per cent share of UK album sales

Independent record labels have reached a sales share high for this century.

Indie labels are currently reeling in 26.4 per cent of UK album sales, according to Music Week. This is a 5 per cent rise when compared to last year and can be attributed to releases from the likes of Beggars Group and Domino and records by Arctic Monkeys and Queens Of The Stone Age. However, overall, album sales have dropped 30 per cent since 2005.

Meanwhile, this summer it was revealed that independent record shop sales soared by 44 per cent in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. According to an analysis of Official Charts Company data by the Entertainment Retailers Association, indies saw a huge increase in sales, despite an overall decline in the sale of albums over the same period by 1.5 per cent.

The ERA, which represents music retailers in the UK, says that increased sales of vinyl albums – boosted by Record Store Day – was a key factor to the increase. The biggest selling album through independent stores in the first half of 2013 was David Bowie’s ‘The Next Day’. The album is the 15th biggest selling album of the year, and overall indies accounted for 5 per cent of the album’s sales.