British recorded music business grows for fourth year in a row

Official data underlines the continued strength and depth of recorded music in 2018, with a near 6 per cent growth in UK consumption across all formats including British artists, blockbuster film soundtracks, vibrant streaming and physical formats. 

Figures released by record labels’ association the BPI(1), based on Official Charts Company data, show that 142.9 million albums or their equivalent were either streamed, purchased or downloaded in 2018, a 5.7 per cent rise on 2017 (135.1 million), and corresponding to an estimated retail value of £1.33 billion. Combined UK sales and streams of recorded music have seen a 22 per cent growth over the past four years.  

Despite the challenging retail trading environment and wavering consumer confidence, as underlined by HMV recently going into administration, 2018 demonstrated that more people are consuming more music than ever before. 

UK artists accounted for half of the top-20 best-selling artist albums in 2018, led by George Ezra’s Staying At Tamara and followed by fellow Brits, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris and Jess Glynne amongst others. Blockbuster movie soundtracks also helped to extend music’s global reach with films such as ‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘A Star is Born’, ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’, and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.  

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, comments: “Britain’s innovative labels are playing a key role in nurturing the new talent, such as BRITs 2019 Critics’ Choice recipient, Sam Fender, that continually refreshes fans’ engagement with music. But, as we are already seeing, including with the news that HMV has gone into administration, continuing growth could be put at risk if a hard Brexit further harms consumer confidence or Government fails to ensure that all platforms using music pay fairly for it. If these risks are avoided, British music remains poised for further growth.” 

Beavis Morgan – business advisers to the UK music industry 

Our experts at Beavis Morgan work closely with businesses and individuals in the entertainment, media and creative industries, including artists and musicians, assisting with their business plans, establishing the market for their product through research, analysing their financial requirements both now and for the future, and putting processes in place to enhance cashflow, leverage tax smart strategies, minimise risk and drive financial success. 

Through our partner businesses, BM Structured Finance and BM Advisory, we are also able to help with sourcing and restructuring debt finance for businesses, as well as assisting with resolving issues which can impact on business performance, and finding innovative solutions for businesses and individuals in distress. 

To find out more, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner. 

(1) BPI official UK recorded music market report for 2018