The British Phonographic Industry has released its music market report for 2015. It finds that UK music consumption rose 4% in 2015 to a retail value of £1.1 billion. As with our first look at Nielsen’s U.S. figures, streaming was a big factor in the overall growth. Last year saw 26.8 billion streams served to UK listeners, an 82% increase over the previous year, which put it at more than a fifth of the UK’s total music consumption. If that figure was expanded to include music streams from video platforms, it would increase to 53.7 billion streams.
Across all formats, a total of 121.6 million albums were consumed last year. BPI’s album equivalent sales sees 100 streams as one track sale, and 10 track sales as one album; in other words, the total streams divided by 1,000 yields the equivalent number of albums. Downloaded albums clocked in just under 26 million, compared with 30 million in 2014. The year also had 133 million singles purchased, falling from 156 million in 2014. CD sales fell, but at a slower rate of 3.9% compared with the 20% drop from back in 2012. Vinyl continued to spike, with a 64% increase to account for just under 2% of the UK’s overall music consumption.
Mark Mulligan of Midia Research offered his insights on these figures coming out of the UK. Along with his thoughts, it’s worth noting that we recently saw BPI in the news for a survey that found streaming could actually be supporting CD sales thanks to some multi-channel listeners. Those findings could explain why the drops in CD sales have waned somewhat.