Awards, chart-topping albums and continued critical acclaim have made the last year a big one for UK grime. Now British industry body the BPI has put out some figures to quantify the genre’s rise, in partnership with Disrupt Media and the Official Charts Company.
Its research shows that grime outperformed the overall recorded-music market in the UK over the last 12 months, with streams up 138%, digital album sales up 51% and even physical albums up 109%.
When all this is converted to the UK’s ‘album equivalent sales’ (AES) metric, the result is a 93% year-on-year rise for grime, compared to 6% for the overall UK market.
“Sales of CDs during this period were boosted by Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer which, when combined with purchases of Skepta’s Konnichiwa, accounted for well over 60,000 units of the format,” noted the BPI.
“At a single track level, however, grime fans are turning from downloads to streaming. Downloads of songs tagged as grime fell at a faster rate (-27%) than in the wider market (-24%), yet plays of grime-related tracks grew by 138 per cent on streaming services (compared to 61% for overall tracks).”