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U.K. MUSIC RETAIL UP 7.1% IN 2019

Spending on recorded music in the U.K. hit £1.4b ($1.9b) in 2019, rising 7.1% and marking a fifth consecutive year of growth. The streaming market exceeded the billion pound mark for the first time, according to preliminary stats from the Entertainment Retailers’ Association (ERA), while vinyl has now surpassed the value of downloads.

Subscription streaming represents 71% of total spend on music at retail in Blighty after rising 23.5% year-to-year to reach £1b. The physical music market dipped 17% last year to £318m (representing 23% of the music retail market) while revenue from downloads declined 26.8% to £89.7m (6% of the market). 

Vinyl sales again bucked the physical trend, increasing 6.4% to £97.1m (7% of the overall market). That means that, for the first time in the digital era, vinyl has surpassed the value of downloads—in 2018 the value of vinyl stood at £91.3m while downloads were worth £122.6m (6.9% and 9.2% of the market respectively). 

The rate of streaming growth is slower than the 37.7% achieved from 2017 to 2018. Physical dipped at a similar rate (16.6% in 2018) and it’s the same story with downloads (25.7% in 2018). That £1b total spent on music subscription services is four times as much as five years ago and 31 times the level recorded in 2010. In 2018, the value of the total recorded music market grew by 8.9% to £1.33b. 

“As more and more people sign up to streaming services, it obviously becomes a challenge to maintain the same rate of growth, but the fact is U.K. music fans spent £190m more on subscription streaming services in 2019 than they did the year before—that’s more than twice the value of the entire vinyl market,” ERA CEO Kim Bayley noted.

The U.K. entertainment market, encompassing music as well as video and games, experienced a seventh year of consecutive growth in 2019, rising 2.4% to £7.8b thanks to strong demand for digital services.

 

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