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HITS LIST, YUP
IMAX version available (8/12a)
SURPRISE MEGAN DROP—"LET'S RUN THIS LAST ONE UP"
That's that, all of a sudden. (8/12a)
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TOP 20: THE RACE
FOR #1 IS ON
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RISE OF THE INDIES
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THE LATIN-MUSIC MARKETPLACE
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KETCHUP
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THE NEXT HUGE CATALOG STORY
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Blighty Beat
INDIE MARKETSHARE RISES IN '21
4/12/22

Independent labels’ share of the U.K. music market grew by nearly 4% in 2021 to 26.9%, marking the fourth consecutive year of growth, according to figures from the BPI.

Last year, the collective share of music consumption in the U.K. attributable to independent labels rose to 26.9%—up from 25.9% in 2020. The figure, taken from the BPI’s annual yearbook, is markedly higher than the 22.1% share recorded in 2017.

Indie label share of artist album sales alone has risen by more than 10% in two years, up to 34.2% in 2021 from 30.4% in 2019. Share of the vinyl market is up even higher: Indie labels accounted for 39.5% of vinyl LP purchases last year, up from 33.9% in 2019.

Last year, 60 independent albums charted in the Official Albums Top 10 (up from 52 in 2020) from acts including Wolf Alice (pictured), MogwaiKSI and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. New indie acts such as Central CeeKSI and AJ Tracey each racked up hundreds of millions of streams in the U.K. alone.

In 2022, the BPI says that indie share of the U.K. market has increased further to 28.9% YTD.

“This continued growth demonstrates that indie labels and artists are thriving in the age of music streaming, and are particularly succeeding in the vinyl revival,” Geoff Taylor, Chief Exec of the BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, commented.

Other interesting stats from the yearbook include the U.K. music market recording more than 147.2b audio streams in 2021, a rise of 5.7% YoY but a significant dip in growth. This is said to be due to an extra chart week in 2020, when audio streams rose 22% YoY, making true comparison difficult, as well as the effect of the various COVID-19 related lockdowns and restrictions on consumer behavior.

Artists from the U.S. counted for 46.2% of chart-eligible sales in the U.K. in 2021 (down from 46.6% the year prior) while U.K.-born releases took a 40.9% share (a number that mirrors 2020’s performance).