The UK’s music market sees huge boost in the first half of 2017 thanks to Ed Sheeran and streaming

From The Official Chart Company

Some big album releases and the rise of streaming saw the music market grow in the first six months of 2017.

…him again…!

Ed Sheeran’s phenomenal success and the continued rise in streaming have put the UK music market up over 11% year-on-year at the halfway stage of 2017.

Figures released by the BPI and Official Charts Company show that Album Equivalent Sales (AES) reached 63,867,380 in the first half of this year – up 11.6% compared to this time in 2016.

Within that figure, it was streaming equivalent album sales saw the biggest increase, up 53.2% year-on-year. CD sales are also holding up thanks to big releases from Ed, Take That and Rag’n’Bone Man, down by just 3.9% since last year, with CD albums specifically dropping 6.4%.

Downloads continue to see a steep decline; sales of digital albums are down by 24.1%, while track equivalent albums fell 23.5%. The news comes after creators of the MP3 declared the format ‘dead’ in May this year.

By contrast, audio streams climbed past the 30 billion mark in the first half of the year to 31,848,269,600.

Meanwhile, the revival of the vinyl format continues apace, with sales of vinyl albums up 32.2% compared to last year. Sales of vinyl singles have also seen a boost – up a massive 60.2% (81,471) in 2017 thanks to a series of reissued classics and limited edition releases by new artists.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ record currently leads the way with the biggest album of 2017 so far, with just over 2 million AES sold, and Shape Of You is the biggest song. The track is currently the UK’s most streamed song ever with over 184 million plays.

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