Music industry reaches 'tipping point' as quarter of Brits get music online


More than one in four Brits buy or stream music online and one in five only buy digitally, according to new research

The British Phonographic Industry’s Digital Music Nation report, released today, found CDs are fast being replaced by hard drives and smartphones. In the UK, 27 per cent of people use legal download or streaming services to get their musical fix, while 19.6 per cent only consume music digitally. More than 40 per cent of all albums sold so far this year were downloads.

The report, which looks at the digital music landscape in the UK, said streaming services, such as Spotify and Napster, are contributing an increasingly large chunk of change to the industry, with the BPI estimating they pay around £50 million annually to record labels, around 15 per cent of digital revenue.

Many new artists, such as Ed Sheeran, have eschewed traditional promotional methods in favour of success on sites like Spotify. Sheeran’s song, The A Team, only reached number 101 in the singles charts but was the 17th most-streamed track on Spotify in the first 10 months of last year. The report also praised performers such as One Direction and Jessie J for their innovative use of social media and apps to promote themselves.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said the findings were a sign the UK’s music industry had reached a digital “tipping point”, and added: “More affordable, capable and easy to use tablets and mobile devices are bringing more consumers to digital music for the  first time.”