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STREAMING DRIVES GROWTH IN '19
1/1/20

Music consumption in the U.K. rose by 7.5% in 2019 with streaming now counting for 74.4% of album equivalent sales (AES) after rising 26%, according to stats released by the BPI. Streaming now represents almost the same share as physical did in 2010.

Last year was the fifth consecutive year of growth in the consumption of recorded music in the U.K. with the equivalent of 154m albums streamed, bought or downloaded. December saw the highest weekly total of streams—2.7b—ever recorded. The 2019 total of 114b plays on audio streaming services marks the first time the 100b landmark has been surpassed in a single year.

CD and digital albums fell by just over 25% (26.5% and 28.2% respectively) to count for an 18.2% (CD) and 4.8% (digital) share of the consumption pie. Physical sales still make up a large proportion of sales for #1 albums—in the majority of weeks (29) in 2019, physical counted for more than half (50%+) of chart-eligible sales for the Official Charts #1 artist album. In the last quarter of 2019, there were 13 consecutive weeks where physical represented for the majority of chart-eligible sales, accounting for more than 75% in 12 of those weeks.

Vinyl LP sales rose for a 12th consecutive year by 4.1% to hit 4.3m, while cassette sales reached the biggest annual total in 15 years with 80k sold in 2019. (It remains just a fraction of total consumption at 0.1%).

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