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U.K. MUSIC BIZ UP 8.9 % IN 2018

The U.K. recorded-music market rose 8.9% last year to reach an estimated retail value of £1.33b ($1.68b)—up from £1.2b in 2017. Streaming now accounts for 62% of the market after rising 37.7%.

Entertainment Retailers’ Association released the value figures while the consumption report was compiled by record label trade body the BPI based on Official Charts Company data. ERA’s stats, which are preliminary, represent a fourth consecutive year of growth after the market rose 9.6% in 2017 and 4.6% in 2016.

Streaming generated £829.1m in revenue for the U.K. music market last year. The physical market was down 16.6% to represent 29% of the retail market (£383.2m), with CDs dropping 23.1% and vinyl growing 1.6%. Digital downloads also dropped 25.7% to count for a 9% (£122.6m) marketshare.

Still, as noted by ERA CEO Kim Bayley, unless you’re a hip-hop artist, physical sales as well as streams are vital in achieving a top-seller. Cases in point: the sales for The Greatest Showman were 51.3% physical; George Ezra’s Staying at Tamara’s, which charted at #2, was 70.5% physical; and Now!’s 99th and 100th compilations, #4 and #5 on 2018’s best-selling all albums list, were 85.4% and 83.1% physical.

The overall rise in value is despite a tough Christmas period for physical retailers (as can be seen in the recent news of HMV entering administration); in the week leading up to 12/21, CD sales were down 29.4%.

In consumption terms, the British music market is up 5.7% with 142.9m albums or their equivalent either streamed, purchased on physical format, and/or downloaded over the past 12 months. Streaming was up 33.5% to count for 63.6% of U.K. domestic music consumption with 91b audio streams served through audio streaming services last year. Physical album consumption was down 20.8% to count for 25.4% of the market, and digital singles and albums consumption declined 26% to count for an 11% share.

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