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Q2 2016 IN BLIGHTY: STREAMING POWERS UPLIFT

This last quarter has been a challenging one for the British music industry, with many concerned about the lack of new talent breaking through and the stagnant nature of the charts leaving little space for debuts. 

Of the Top 10 biggest sellers in Blighty for the first half of 2016, just one UK-born album released this year made the cut: David Bowie’s Blackstar (RCA). The rest were out last year, with the exception of Beyoncé’s Lemonade (RCA), which is of course a U.S. project. On the singles list, zero tracks from British artists released this year made the Top 10.

However, overall music consumption was still up 5% year-on-year in Q2, according to BPI analysis of Official Chart data printed in UK trade title Music Week. It was audio streaming that powered the growth, which is up 79.5% YoY and accounts for 39.5% of consumption -  the biggest slice of the newly formulated Album Equivalent Sales (AES) figure and ahead of physical albums, which counted for 35.5%. Album sales were down 15.6% from Q2 2015, with vinyl up 62.8%. Digital album downloads are down 30.5% to 25.1%.

As noted by I.B. Bad, the six-month and Q2 marketshare results for the U.K. show a tightening of the gap between David Joseph’s UMG and Jason Iley’s Sony. UMG took 35.1% of the market in Q2 (down 1% YoY), followed by Sony with 22.1% (up 0.3% YoY), Max Lousada’s Warner with 17.6% (up 0.5% YoY), and Lohan Presencer’s compilation expert Ministry of Sound taking 2.5%. Ted Cockle’s Virgin EMI was once again label champ with 10.3%, followed by Colin Barlow’s RCA with 8.7%, Darcus Beese’s Island with 8.0%, Sony Music at 6.4% and Tom March and Ben Mortimer’s Polydor at 5.9%.

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