The Rolling Stones

British music still dominating on world stage

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones: their latest album had an impact on British music sales figures. Photo: Jim Pietryga/Wikimedia Commons

British music sales overseas at a new high, proving that music fans are still looking towards our shores for talent

Latest figures from record label members indicate a rise of 11.1% in British music exports in 2016. The annual survey carried out by the BPI reveals the value of the rise is £364.6 million, the highest since records began in 2000. The music body announced the findings at its AGM in London on Thursday (7 September).

The growth shows the market for British music overseas hasn’t faltered since the turn of the millennium. In fact, British artists have earned £4.4 billion in that time and, now, UK artists account for one in eight album sales globally.

The death of David Bowie saw a rise in demand for his back catalogue; sales of which contributed a large amount to the total revenue. The Rolling Stones’ latest album also had an important impact on sales figures.

The result is being championed by music industry representatives, especially considering Brexit. BPI & BRIT Awards chief exec Geoff Taylor said: “With Britain leaving the EU, the UK needs businesses that are true global superstars.”

The rise in sales comes down to timing. 2016 was a busy year for album releases, with Little Mix finding success with their album Glory Days, meaning that the chances of sales rising year-on-year are dependent on which artists are releasing albums, and if there are any significant posthumous sales.

However, 2017 looks to be just as busy as last year, with Ed Sheeran dominating the charts. And the last nine months have been successful for breakthrough artists, with Rag’n’Bone Man and Stormzy releasing their debut albums. The UK continues to be a force to be reckoned with as a distributor of music, but still sits behind the US.

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