UK music sales figures rise for the first time since 2004

Healthy vinyl sales and rise in streaming in 2015 ensure music industry remains buoyant

Sales of vinyl and a huge rise in streaming saw music sales rise for the first time since 2004 last year.

The retail value of UK music rose from £1.03 billion in 2014 to £1.06 billion in 2015 after vinyl sales jumped by 64 per cent. A total of 26.8 billon songs were also streamed, representing a rise of 82 per cent according to the trade body BPI.

Last year’s overall figure included the retail value of physical albums alongside digital downloads and an estimate of revenues from streaming subscriptions.

“The soaring popularity of music streaming and the burgeoning vinyl revival mean that UK music consumption rose again in 2015,” BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said in statement.

“Services such as Spotify and Apple Music are going mainstream as more people discover how wonderful it is to have all the music in the world to listen to, whenever and wherever you want. Millions of fans also continue to build treasured collections of favourite albums on vinyl, CD or downloads.


“Yet again it’s UK artists who are driving this growth and inspiring the fans, whether it’s global icons such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and One Direction, or recent British breakthroughs and newcomers like Jess Glynne, Little Mix and James Bay.”

Adele‘s third album ‘25’ has sold nearly 2.5 million copies since its release in November.

Although the tally can include any streams played from March 25 onwards (when streaming first started to count toward the charts) as well as physical and digital sales, ‘25’ is yet to be made available to stream on any service, meaning that all 2.496 million copies of the record have actually been purchased.

Ed Sheeran’s ‘X’ and Sam Smith’s ‘In The Lonely Hour’ also did well, despite both albums being released in 2014. Sheeran ended the year on 971,000 combined sales, while Smith finished on 893,000.