UK Record Labels Achieve Britpop-era Sales Increase With the Help of Ed Sheeran, Little Mix and Stormzy

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Photo by Ludmila Joaquina Valentin from Flickr

Last year, record labels in the United Kingdom grew at its fastest rate since the Britpop era as artists including Little Mix, Stormzy, and Ed Sheeran helped increase the revenues through streaming services and vinyl records.

According to figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), record companies in the United Kingdom generated approximately £839.4 million in sales in 2017, up by 10.6 percent on the prior year.

The last time that the industry was able to achieve a similar level of growth was in 1995 when the record sales rose by 10.7 percent on the back of Britpop bands including Blur, Pulp, and Oasis.

Currently, record companies are leaning on the success of stars including Sheeran, whose album called Divide was declared as the most popular record in all formats in 2017.

The fastest-growing sales category is streaming. Its revenues rose by 41 percent year-on-year to £388.8 million

Streaming includes video streaming, ad-supported streaming, and subscription services. It now makes up nearly half (46 percent) of the total turnover of the industry.

Sales of physical records also increased in the year, a trend that is supported by the ongoing revival of vinyl records, with sales of such format increasing by 24 percent year on year.

The chief executive of BPI, Geoff Taylor, said that the revenues had increased because labels had invested in various new artists and were able to update their business models.

He stated: “We are likely to see a continuing rise in 2018, with increasing awareness among consumers about the benefits of music streaming, and new developments that are likely to encourage the uptake of subscriptions, such as the launch of YouTube’s premium music service and the growing popularity of smart speakers in the home,” .

However, the BPI warned that the income of the industry still lags behind the peak that it was able to achieve way back in 2001, when revenues were at £1.2 billion.