British artists dominate 2011 album market

Adele and Coldplay help UK acts nab highest market-share in 15 years

British artists dominated the album market in 2011 and claimed their highest market-share in 15 years, according to reports.

Research carried out by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) based on data from the Official Charts Company showed that big-selling releases from the likes of Adele and Coldplay ensured that British acts accounted for 52.7% of UK album sales next year, an increase from 2010’s figure of 48.9%.

Adele’s ’21’ was the year’s biggest seller, shifting 3,772,000 copies, but the BPI claimed that even without the London songstress’ chart success, British artists would still have racked up their biggest share of the market since 2007, with 56 of the year’s top 100 albums coming from UK acts.


Other acts contributing to the high sales figures included Coldplay, Jessie J and Ed Sheeran – all of whom sold between 500,000 and 1 million copies – while The Vaccines, Katy B, Professor Green and PJ Harvey also all made the top 100.

US artists fared less successfully, meanwhile, with the BPI reporting that acts from across the pond saw their share of the market fall to 32.7%, its lowest total since 1999.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said:

A string of great albums by British artists has delivered the strongest performance in the domestic albums market since the days of Britpop and the Spice Girls in 1997.

He went on to add: “Despite a challenging market, independent and major labels in the UK have kept the faith and continued to invest hundreds of millions in British talent. This success at home should provide a springboard for continued international success.”

The BPI also claims that UK acts enjoyed increased success in the singles market, too – in addition to 44 of the year’s top 100 singles from Brits, their percentage of the market share rose from 40.7% in 2010 to 42.6%.