Surge in Streaming Gives Further Impetus to Digital Music Growth in 2013

Download the full press release complete with market data here.

  • Streaming breaks £100 million barrier in 2013 * - accounting for 10 per cent of the value of UK recorded music sales.
  • Surge in music streaming pushes trade music revenues above £1 billion again.
  • UK fans are estimated to have streamed 7.4 billion songs from audio streaming services over the past 12 months - double the levels of 2012; Arctic Monkeys are the most streamed artists.
  • For the fourth year in a row more than 1 million songs are downloaded on Christmas Day.
  • Sales of CDs remain relatively resilient as consumers embrace digital formats - still accounting for 64 per cent of sales by volume, while the vinyl revival continues - LP albums up 101 per cent on 2012.
  • One Direction's Midnight Memories is the biggest-selling artist album of the year as British artists continue to dominate the Official Charts, responsible for 8 of the top 10 artist albums of 2013. 
  • Bastille's Bad Blood is the biggest-selling digital album by any artist in 2013, though the biggest digital album of the year overall is Now That's What I Call Music 85. 
  • Arctic Monkeys' AM tops the vinyl charts.  Now That's What I Call Music 86 is the biggest release of the year overall across all formats.

London, 1st January 2014 - Market data compiled jointly by the BPI - the body which represents the British recorded music business - and the Official Charts Company shows that continuing strong demand for digital downloads and a surge in the consumption of music via streaming services helped the UK recorded music market achieve another £1 billion-plus year in 2013.

The way that music is discovered and enjoyed by fans continues to be shaped by the rapid evolution of digital technology, and 2013 arguably witnessed an even bigger shift in this dynamic as growing numbers took advantage of increased ownership of tablets and smartphones to either download or stream their favourite songs and albums.

Streaming now worth over £100 million to the UK recorded music market

Until now streaming data has not been included in the published UK market figures, but the BPI has calculated that in 2013 the value of premium-account subscriptions to audio streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer exceeded the £100 million mark for the first time to stand at around £103m (2012: £77m). 

* This figure is a conservative one, however, as it excludes revenues from advertising that funds free streams and revenue from audio-visual streaming services such as YouTube.  So the total value of music streamed in the UK will, in fact, be significantly higher. 

In all, a staggering 7.4 billion tracks were streamed via premium or ad-funded audio services over the past 12 months (according to the Official Charts Company data) - double the 3.7bn figure reported in 2012. 

It also means that streamed music now accounts for 10 per cent of the overall value of the UK music market - a 34 per cent rise on 2012 figure of £77m, when its share stood at 7 per cent. 

Digital albums up 6.8 per cent; Digital singles second-highest year of all time

The growth in demand for digital albums continued during the past twelve months, according to Official Charts Company figures.  Some 32.6 million albums were downloaded - representing a 6.8 per cent increase on 2012 and over 100 per cent growth on the level five years ago.  The most-downloaded album was Now That's What I Call Music 85, with the most popular digital album by an artist Bastille's Bad Blood. 

Sales of digital singles in 2013 came close to matching their all-time record year in 2012 (183.3 million tracks downloaded) at 175.6 million units, according to Official Charts Company data - the second highest in recorded music history.  The most downloaded track was Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. followed by Daft Punk's Get Lucky again featuring Pharrell Williams and also Nile Rodgers. Next came Avicii's Wake Me Up, followed by the highest-placed British performer, Passenger, with his hit Let Her Go - one of four million-selling tracks in 2013.     

For a fourth consecutive year over a million singles were downloaded on Christmas Day as music fans took to the Internet having opened gifts that increasingly include smartphones, tablets and iTunes vouchers.

CDs show resilience; compilations up and vinyl revival continues

The market for physically-packaged media remains relatively resilient, according to the Official Charts Company, with CD album sales still accounting for 64 per cent of the total music units sold in music/entertainment stores in the High Street and online - down 12.8 per cent on 2012. 

Within this trend, however, compilations albums continue to perform particularly well and were up 3.7 per cent on last year, driven mainly by the enduring popularity of the Now range.  In fact, Now That's What I Call Music 86 was 2013's overall best seller across all formats - shifting some 1.1m copies in total.   

Vinyl continues its revival, with just over 780,000 LP albums sold in 2013, Official Charts Company figures reveal - up 101 per cent on 2012 and over 270 per cent on five years ago. 

This is the largest annual total in over 15 years (in 1997 817,000 LP units were sold).  Vinyl 7" singles were up 34 per cent on last year and sales of 12" singles rose 60 per cent on 2012.
The vinyl format, whilst still popular with some baby-boomers, increasingly also appeals to an engaged audience of younger artists and consumers alike, who appreciate its iconic heritage as part of Rock and Pop culture.  The format's profile and sales have also been driven by the success of annual events such as Record Store Day. 

British artists continue to dominate the charts - 2013 best-sellers stats

British artists continued to dominate the Official Charts in 2013.  One Direction's Midnight Memories was the biggest-selling artist album of the year, which sold 685,000 copies in just six weeks to make it the fastest-selling title of the year. That makes it nine years in a row that a UK artist has had the top seller: Emeli Sandé Our Version Of Events (2012), Adele 21 (2011), Take That Progress (2010), Susan Boyle I Dreamed A Dream (2009), Duffy Rockferry (2008), Amy Winehouse Back To Black (2007), Snow Patrol Eyes Open (2006), and James Blunt Back To Bedlam (2005).

  • The biggest-selling album overall was Now That's What I Call Music 86, which sold 1.1m copies.
  • Passenger had the most successful single of the year among British artists - the million-selling Let Her Go.  The biggest-selling singles overall were Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. followed by Daft Punk's Get Lucky ft. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, and Avicii's Wake Me Up.
  • The most successful digital artist album of 2013 was Bad Blood by Bastille, while the most streamed artists were another British act - Arctic Monkeys.  Both acts are due to perform at this year's BRIT Awards with MasterCard on 19th February.
  • Arctic Monkeys also prevailed as the biggest-selling artists on vinyl in 2013.  Their acclaimed album AM topped the Official Charts ahead of Random Access Memories by Daft Punk and The Next Day by David Bowie.              

Comments from BPI, One Direction, Bastille, Spotify, Deezer & ERA

Commenting on the figures and the surge in streaming, BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said:
“The success of digital music in 2013 surpassed all previous records – we celebrated the one billionth track download, counted four million-selling digital singles, and streamed more than 7 billion songs.  As digital music moves into the streaming era, the prospects for future growth in the UK music market look strong."   

BPI Chairman, Tony Wadsworth CBE, added:
“The British public’s affinity for British music is alive and kicking!  For an impressive ninth year in a row, a UK artist signed, developed and supported by a British record label has claimed the best-selling artist album on home turf.  The hat-trick of chart achievements from One Direction, Bastille and Arctic Monkeys has certainly set a high benchmark for UK acts to follow in 2014, but we say watch this space.”

Reacting to the news that Midnight Memories is the biggest-selling artist album of 2013, One Direction commented:
“This tops an amazing year for us! We're so excited to have the biggest selling album in the UK this year, especially with a record we are all so proud of. We'd like to thank everyone who has bought the album, it really means a lot to us.”

On being informed that Bastille had the best-selling digital album of any artist in 2013 and that they were also one of the most-streamed artists of the year, Dan Smith of Bastille said: "It's very surreal to hear something like that, but really good to see how some people have embraced our album."     

Chris Maples, VP of Europe, Spotify, said:
"2013 has been another brilliant year for British music, and for British music fans, who today are enjoying listening to more music from more artists than ever before. We have seen a number of great new British artists break through this year on Spotify, such as Bastille, who were a huge viral success with our users from very early on, as well as seeing huge success from more established British acts such as One Direction. We are really excited about helping our users to discover and share more great new artists in 2014 and beyond."  

Mark Foster, MD of Deezer UK & Ireland, said:      
"It’s been a monumental year for British music and for streaming services. We’ve witnessed a surge in demand in the UK as people have caught on to the fact that they can enjoy a huge catalogue of music, anywhere and on whatever device suits their lifestyle.  By combining our expert human editors with smart technology this year, we've given every music fan a truly personal experience that has helped people around the world discover British acts. What’s important now is to keep that momentum up. I have no doubt that streaming will contribute to generating strong new revenues for the UK industry and provide new ways for artists to connect with fans in 2014.  Onwards and upwards!"             

Kim Bayley, Director General of the Entertainment Retailers' Association (ERA), said:
"Retail investment in the future of music reached an all-time high in 2013 as streaming services scaled up their offering. It means UK music fans now have an unprecedented choice of ways to enjoy the music they love - from traditional indie record shops to specialist High Street chains, supermarkets and a dizzying array of internet and digital services. As long as labels keep producing hits, our members will be there to deliver them to music fans."


BPI / 07801 194 139 / 020 7803 1326
BPI / 07763 619 709 / 020 7803 1395
Official Charts Lauren Kreisler at / 07789 886 263
ERA  Steve Redmond at / 07770 924 720

About BPI
The BPI is the representative voice of the UK recorded music business. The BPI is a trade organisation funded by its members - which include hundreds of independent music companies and the UK’s three major record labels. The BPI’s members account for approximately 90% of all recorded music sold in the UK, and globally the UK's recorded music market is the fourth biggest.
The BPI also organises the annual BRIT Awards show as well as the Classical BRIT Awards show. The organising company BRIT Awards Limited, is a fully owned subsidiary of the BPI. Substantial proceeds from both shows go to the BRIT Trust, the charitable arm of the BPI that has donated almost £15m to charitable causes nationwide, since its foundation.

About the Official Charts Company
The Official Charts Company (OCC) is a joint venture between record labels' body the BPI and ERA, the Entertainment Retailers Association. The OCC is responsible for the commissioning, marketing, distribution and management of the UK's industry standard music and video charts and is endorsed by the BVA (British Video Association).

The Official Charts Company compiles its charts from sales information gathered across all key distribution (or entertainment) channels including all major high street retail chains, independent stores, supermarkets, mail order internet retailers and digital music service providers. This market research sample equates to 99% of the total UK Singles market; 98% of the total UK Albums market and 90% of the total UK DVD market.

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