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BPI reveals music consumption stats for UK in 2021


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The BPI is traditionally the first industry body out of the blocks with its annual figures every year, and 2022 is no different. Music consumption in the UK grew by 2.5% in 2021 to the equivalent of 159m albums, with 147bn audio streams (up 5.7%) accounting for 83% of that consumption.

What about the bigger picture though? Total music consumption in the UK grew by 7.5% in 2019, then 8.2% in 2020, so the 2021 figure is a significant deceleration. Meanwhile, streams grew by 25.6% in 2019 then by 22% in 2020, so the deceleration in 2021 is even more notable there.

Understandably, given the ructions of last year’s streaming economics inquiry, the BPI has put a focus on ‘artist success’ as a key metric for 2021. It said that nearly 2,000 artists were streamed more than 10m times in the UK in 2021.

The announcement notes that this is “up by 25% in just two years”, which based on the BPI’s announcement last January that 1,800 artists had hit the 10m UK streams milestone in 2020 suggests that the figure grew by around 200 artists in both 2020 and 2021.

The BPI also says that “well over” 8,000 artists now generate more than 1m streams a year in the UK.

“As our lives continue to be disrupted, the past 12 months have reminded us again of the important role that recorded music plays in our lives,” said CEO Geoff Taylor (pictured).

“At the same time, the rise of streaming has empowered more artists than ever – from all backgrounds and eras – to build new fanbases around the world and to forge successful careers in music, while record labels have continued to provide the investment and support needed for British talent to thrive and reach a truly global audience.”

Stuart Dredge

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