Music streaming doubled in 2013 as albums sales fell

An increase in online users for sites like Deezer and Spotify has accounted for sales of 7.4billion songs in the UK. That’s double the amount of tracks downloaded in 2012 and it’s a boost that helped push music revenues passed the £1billion mark. Streaming services are currently worth about 10% of the market with revenues of £103million generated by online subscription services. With cash generated by advertising on free streaming services and on YouTube, the industry is in for a bigger windfall than expected.

Unfortunately for the industry the additional money made online has not offset losses found in other formats. Overall the music industry is down 6.3% in 2013 as CD sales have declined. Although album sales were £772million in 2013, the volume of CDs sold lowered to 60.6million which is a 13% drop over the previous year. CDs still make up most of all album sales, but digital downloads are on the increase as more than a third of all album sales were digital.

During 2012 the sale of digital singles hit an all-time high of 183.3million so the 175.6million sold in 2013 seems poor by comparison but it’s still impressive. The vinyl revival still continues but the market is pretty small so although vinyl album sales were up, there were only 780,000 records sold in 2013.

Putting aside the formats that people brought music in during 2013, the biggest news for the industry is that 2013 was a great year for British artists. When the British Phonographic Industry, the body that represents the British recorded music business, announced the top selling tracks, eight of the top ten best-selling albums of 2013 were from British artists. One Direction's “Midnight Memories” was the highest-selling album of the year, with 685,000 units sold. The other artists in the top ten included Emeli Sande with “Our Version of Events”. The other Brits in the top ten were Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Olly Murs, Gary Barlow, Ellie Goulding and the Artic Monkeys.

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