Music UK

Music streaming hits all time high in the UK during lockdown


According to a report by BPI (British Phonograph Industry), music streaming has hit an all-time high in the UK.

The report by BPI indicated over 139.3 billion streams across the UK over the past 12 months. Before the annual report was expected to come out, analysts anticipated music streaming would be much lower by volume; instead, the report beat 2019’s report of streams by nearly 25.1 billion, making 2020 the biggest annual growth in UK music streaming volume.

It’s believed that the initial thought of the UK music streaming volume would be done because of how dated music streaming platforms have been in the UK since their introduction in 2009, thus seeing a trend of a decrease in revenue from multiple platforms year over year. While the data on 2020’s revenue has yet to be released, it’s assumed that the surprising burst in streams by volume may have been attributed to people turning to music streaming during the national lockdowns. The new data also suggests that individual artists have benefitted from the new streaming numbers, helping over 200 artists cross the 100 million stream mark in 2020.

According to a statement from BPI,

“The top 10 streaming artists in 2020 each achieved over half a billion streams in the UK alone. But below them in the top 200, there were many artists achieving more than 200 million streams, while further down still, even artists ranking between 500th– 1,000th achieved between 43 million and 21 million UK streams.  A million streams may sound a lot out of context, but 8,000 different acts now exceed this threshold [in the UK] annually.”

On the other hand, streaming by volume may be up, but according to the influx of stats recorded by the Official Charts Company data, album sales fell (physical copies and digital copies) 23.5% in 2020 (27 million).

BPI also suggested that the music streaming market has become much more competitive, raising even the lower-tiered streaming artists by a few hundred thousand streams as a means of maintaining consumer attention, which means, to maintain relevancy within the market, labels may need to invest in newer artists more now than ever.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of BPI, stated, “The performance of recorded music in 2020 was remarkable, and reminds us how important music is to our country, even when our lives are disrupted”.

To see the full analysis from BPI, click here.

Image Credit: Mark Cruz on Unsplash | Concert Image via Mark Holloway/Redferns