The UK’s music market is following the global trends of increased streaming and decreased downloads. The mid-year data released by BPI and the Official Charts Company showed a 11.6% increase in album equivalent sales for the first half of the year, reaching nearly 63.87 million units. Streaming equivalent album sales grew 53.2% on-year in the UK. Audio streams in the first half of the year totaled almost 31.85 million. Ed Sheeran’s album Divide is the biggest release of the year so far, with top single Shape Of You already racking up more than 184 million plays on streaming services.
The UK market did see a few popular CD releases from Ed Sheehan, Take That, and Rag’n’Bone Man, but overall the format’s sales still posted a dip of 3.9%. Downloaded album sales declined 24.1% and track equivalent album sales fell 23.5%.