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U.K. MUSIC RETAIL TOPS £1.5B

Retail spending on music in the U.K. grew by 6.8% last year to £1.55b, its biggest total since 2006, according to preliminary figures from the Entertainment Retailers’ Association. Streaming grew 15.5% to £1.21b, accounting for 78% of the total market.

Vinyl rose 13.3% to £110m, contributing 7% to the overall total or 40% of the physical music market; CD sales dipped 28% to £156.2m or a 10% share. Download revenues dipped 19.5% to £72.2m, a 4.6% share of the total.

The overall growth is slower than the 7.1% achieved in 2019, when revenues from streaming rose 23.5%. In 2018, the U.K. music retail market grew 8.9% and streaming was up 37.7%.

2020's revenue increase is also lower than the rise in consumption. BPI reports that last year's recorded-music consumption rose 8.2%, with streaming up 22% to amass an 80.6% share.

The overall entertainment market—music, video and games—rose 16.8% in 2020 to a record £9.05b. It’s the fastest growth rate since such records have been kept, driven above all by digital services, which saw revenues increase by £1.4b over 2019 to a new high of £7.8b.

“If there was ever a year in which we needed entertainment, it was 2020,” ERA CEO Kim Bayley said. “The trend towards an increasingly digital entertainment market may be long established, but no one could have foreseen this dramatic leap as digital services filled the gap left by shuttered cinemas, concert halls and retail stores. 

“With much of the country shut down, ERA’s members provided a welcome revenue stream for thousands of musicians, actors, directors and countless backroom staff.”

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