Independent labels took 26% market share in UK last year


British label bodies the BPI and Aim are trumpeting the market share taken by independent labels in 2020. That share grew to just under 26% last year as measured by ‘album equivalent sales’, a metric blending streams and digital/physical sales.

Their announcement also claims that indies’ share of ‘streaming equivalent albums’ has grown in each of the past five years.

Breaking this down by format, indies accounted for 35% of vinyl LP sales in the UK in 2020; nearly 30% of CD sales; and 24.5% of streaming consumption, with all three percentages rising in the first quarter of 2021 (to 39.8%, 32.5% and 25.8% respectively).

Why announce this now? We can’t help but feel the Broken Record campaign, with its rhetoric of an industry dominated by the three global major labels, might have something to do with it… But even taking that into account, a healthy independent sector is vital for the music industry (majors included) so the growth is good to see.


Image by Delpixel /

Written by: Stuart Dredge