700 per cent increase in music streaming in the UK in 2012

7.5billion songs were streamed over the past year – up from 1.1 billion in 2011

The past year has seen a whopping 700 per cent increase in the amount of music streamed online through sites such as Spotify, Last.fm and Deezer.

Chairman and chief executive of Universal Music UK and Ireland David Joseph revealed to The Guardian that over 7.5billion tracks were streamed in the last year, up from 1.1billion in 2011.

This is in addition to the 250billion songs which were viewed online via YouTube in 2012.

In the interview, Joseph expressed concern over the fact that despite these high figures, the year had seen only nine breakthrough UK acts – an artist who has sold more than 100,000 albums. This is down from 2011’s 19 acts and a high of 27 artists in 2007.

Joseph said: “There are two or three more acts to break but it doesn’t look like reaching 19. Considering this is our lifeblood it is of concern to us, and something we focus on every day.”

This year’s breakthrough artists include Emeli Sandé, Ben Howard and the Military Wives. Joseph suggested that maybe radio should be more supportive to new talent, saying: “I have a question: is there a responsibility that UK radio has towards supporting new emerging UK talent?”

He added that the global music market is set to grow by 0.8 per cent in 2014, though it fell one per cent globally this past year and by 4.1 per cent in the UK. He commented: “We have held on a bumpy ride but growth is just about to happen in the worldwide market.”