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U.K. record labels pulled in £926 million in 2016, a 5.1% rise over 2015 and the largest spike in five years. Streaming was the driver, naturally, while downloads are worth just over half what they were in 2012.
There’s no shaking Ed Sheeran from atop the Official Charts in the U.K. as ÷ (Atlantic) registers its fifth week at #1 and “Shape of You” scores its 13th consecutive week atop the singles chart with “Galway Girl” at #2 for the fifth week. Jamiroquai’s Automaton (Virgin), at #4, is the week’s top newcomer.
Ed Sheeran has outsold the other eight albums in the Official Charts’ Top 10 of 2017’s biggest sellers in the U.K. so far with Divide (Atlantic) tallying a combined 1.4m sales and its three singles reaching 3.3m. Ben Cook’s WMG imprint Atlantic is enjoying a smashing start to the year.
Thanks to Rag’n’Bone Man, Ferdy Unger-Hamilton’s Sony label Columbia takes second and third place on the albums and singles list respectively as Human tallies 394k this year, while its title track has reached 644k.
Syco, now helmed by Tyler Brown, has Little Mix’ Glory Days at #4 with 136k and the group’s “Touch” at #5 on singles with 515k. In total, Jason Iley’s Sony has two albums in the Top 10 and three singles, including “Paris” (RCA) by Chainsmokers at #9.
Max Lousada’s Warner has two Sheeran albums with x at #3, and four singles including Clean Bandit hit “Rockabye” (Atlantic) at #6.
Led by Ben Mortimer and Tom March, UMG’s Polydor has Take That and Wonderland with 112k at #6, the cast recording La La Land at #9 with 98k, while Jax Jones f/Raye’s “You Don’t Know Me” is #4 on singles with 595k. Darcus Beese’s Island features twice with Drake’s More Life selling 100k to sit at #8 and breaking artist JP Cooper at #10 on singles with “September Song”.
In total, David Joseph’s UMG gets four best-selling albums with the aforementioned alongside Pete Tong’s Classic House (UMC) at #7 with 102k. The major also has three singles including Starley “Call on Me” (AATW) at #8. Shout out to indie label #Merky for 129k combined chart sales of Stormzy's smash debut Gang Signs & Prayer.
Best selling albums in the U.K. 2017 to date
Best selling singles in the U.K. 2017 to date
Spotify has grown its U.K. team with the appointment of former Songkick business development exec Jack Stephens (left) as Creator Partnerships Manager, while Paul Smith (right, below), who previously worked at MixRadio and Nokia, has joined as Head of International Licensing.
Based in London, Stephens reports to Spotify’s Head of Creator Insights and Activations, Shane Tobin. He has previously held positions at AWAL, Lucid Group, MusicQubed and CrowdSurge, which merged with Songkick in 2015.
Smith is also working from Spotify’s London HQ. He spent eight years at Nokia, ending as Director, Global Head of Major Relations in 2014. Stints at Microsoft, the now defunct MixRadio and Company Cue followed.
Jamiroquai has the highest new entry on the U.K.’s Official Albums midweek update with Automaton (Virgin EMI) at #2, while Calvin Harris f/Ariana Grande, Pharrell and Young Thug’s “Heatstroke” (Columbia) is the highest new single with at #16. Ed Sheeran is unshakeable at #1 with ÷ (Atlantic) selling another 50k combined copies over the last three days.
The Voice winner, singer/songwriter Mo Adeniran, has joined the roster of Polydor and actress/ singer Natasha Barnes is now with Sony U.K. They are among recent signings at major and independent companies in Blighty of late.
Adeniran’s winning song “Unsteady,” released Sunday after he was crowned winner, is currently #5 on the iTunes Singles. Management is Greg Dixon.
Sony’s Barnes, star of the West End revival of Funny Girl, will release her debut album this year. Her agent is James Beresford at Shepherd Management.
Meanwhile, former Take That manager Nigel Martin Smith has signed new boy band project Yes Lad to Absolute Label Services, which will distribute and market the group’s releases. Their debut single “Walk Away” is out 4/28 with an album to follow later this year.
On the publishing side, singer/songwriter Allman Brown has joined the Universal Music Publishing U.K. family after self-releasing his debut album, 1000 Years, in February. Management is Jeremy Lloyd at the Laissez Faire Club.
Despite first week sales of 113k, Take That haven’t managed to topple the behemoth that is Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Atlantic). The trio’s eighth studio album Wonderland (Polydor) settles for second place on the Official Albums chart. Over on the continuously slow-moving singles chart, ZAYN is the highest new entry at #24.
Sheeran has now spent three non-consecutive weeks at #1—he’s got four more to go before he matches Adele’s seven-week run with 25 (XL).
Drake is down one place to #3 with More Life (Island)—improving three places from his midweek #6—followed by Rag’n’Bone Man with Human (Columbia) at #4, while Vera Lynn slides to #5 with100 (Decca). The second highest new albums entry is James Blunt with The Afterlove (Atlantic) at #6.
Jesus and Mary Chain return to the Top 40 for the first time in over two decades as Damage and Joy (Parlophone) ends the week at #16.
Over on the Official Singles Chart, Sheeran’s “Shape of You” spends its 12th consecutive week at #1 while “Galway Girl” sits behind it at #2.
Drake has also improved his midweek peak with “Passionfruit” rising one place to #3. Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson’s track “Symphony” (Atlantic) is up two places to #4 during its second week on sale, and Sheeran rounds out the Top 5 with “Castle on the Hill.”
ZAYN scores this week’s highest new entry with “Still Got Time” f/PARTYNEXTDOOR (RCA) entering at #24. Other movers of note are Kygo and Selena Gomez with “It Ain’t Me” (Columbia) rebounding 12 spots to #7, and “Issues” (Polydor) by Julia Michaels rising 15 places to #13.
Hot on the heels of signing pop-soul artist Mullally, Warner Music U.K. has launched an imprint with the artist’s management company titled Black Diamond Records. Helmed by Black Diamond founders David Olusegun and Derek Edmund Ojofeitimi, the label will sit under Ben Cook’s Atlantic.