British acts dominate UK music sales as streaming doubles
UK artists led by Ed Sheeran fill the entire top 10 best-selling artist albums in 2014, for the first time
eorge Ezra, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran are among the Brits leading the charge to a record breaking year as the entire top 10 artist albums in 2014 came from home-grown talent – the strongest performance by British artists since Official Charts records began. This also makes it 10 years in a row that the bestselling artist album has come from a British act.
Two albums, Ed Sheeran’s X and Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour, achieved well over one million unit sales during the past 12 months, a feat no artist album achieved in 2013. Sheeran was also the UK’s most streamed artist across all audio streaming services, whilst globally Spotify have confirmed that Sheeran was their most streamed artist in the world in 2014, achieving the 1 billion streams milestone on the service.
Sam Smith also had an outstanding twelve months, collecting the BRITs Critics Choice Award at the beginning of the year, and becoming the second most streamed artist in the UK after Sheeran, with In The Lonely Hour the second most streamed album.
“The remarkable success of British artists in 2014 is exciting news for the future,” commented Geoff Taylor, Chief Exec of the BPI and BRIT Awards. “With major new premium services from Apple and YouTube set to boost subscription streaming even further in 2015, we believe the UK’s world-leading music industry is strongly positioned for future expansion.”
Figures released today by the BPI, the trade body which represents the nation’s record labels, indicates that this outstanding performance by British artists, was combined with a continuing marked trend towards consumption from streaming services. The number of audio streams doubled in 2014 as nearly 15 billion songs were streamed from digital services such as Spotify, Deezer and Google Play compared with 7.5 million streams in 2013.
Kevin Brown, Spotify Head of Label Relations, Europe, said: “2014 has been a year in which streaming has truly become mainstream in the UK, as proven by the billions of streams by music fans on Spotify in the UK this year. We expect streaming to go from strength to strength in 2015, as more music fans discover how easy it is to enjoy a whole world of music on demand, and also as we support a new swathe of exciting young artists break through and build new audiences on Spotify in the months ahead.”
The best-selling artist albums of 2014, according to the Official Charts Company, were as follows…
- Ed Sheeran — X
- Sam Smith — In The Lonely Hour
- George Ezra — Wanted On Voyage
- Paolo Nutini — Caustic Love
- Coldplay — Ghost Stories
- Paloma Faith — A Perfect Contradiction
- One Direction — Four
- Olly Murs — Never Been Better
- Pink Floyd — The Endless River
- Take That — III