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Brian Coney
17 April 2024, 12:20

39% of vinyl records sold in 2023 were independently released, BPI reveals

Independently released music also made up 29.2% of UK recorded music consumption last year


Over 39% of vinyl records sold in the UK last year were independently released, according to new analysis shared by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

As part of the newly-published 45th edition of its Yearbook, All About The Music 2024, BPI has revealed that nearly one in four (39.1%) of all vinyl LPs bought in 2023 were independent releases, with more than 200 indie titles selling at least 1,500 copies last year. 

From indie labels and micro-labels, to self-releasing artists, the statistics include releases by artists including R&B star Jorja Smith, and singer-songwriters Arlo Parks and The Japanese House. Independent releases also accounted for nearly one-third (32.8%) of all CDs sold in the UK last year.

The latest Yearbook by BPI - which is the trade association for the UK’s record companies and labels, and the representative voice of British recorded music - indicates growth in the British independent sector for a sixth consecutive year.

Additionally, it reveals that independently released music made up 29.2% of UK recorded music consumption last year - a third higher than in 2017 - it shares that 400 indie singles and albums released last year reached new, BRIT Certified Platinum, Gold or Silver award levels.

Dr. Jo Twist OBE, BPI Chief Executive Officer, said: “The UK music industry has always had a healthy and vibrant independent sector made up of an eclectic mix of many hundreds of labels supporting an extraordinary range of British talent. Their success is underlined by a sixth consecutive year of growth, reflecting both the popularity of their artists on streaming platforms and demand for their releases on vinyl and CD, where they continue to find success with music fans across demographics.

“The growing success of the UK’s independent sector is just one of many stories in the BPI’s essential All About The Music 2024,” added Twist. “At a time when the ways we can enjoy music continue to evolve, our yearbook unpicks and analyses this ever-complex ecosystem. It shows an energetic and hugely successful UK recorded music sector, driven by our incredible artists and the record labels that support them.”

In general, the Yearbook confirmed that sales in the vinyl market rose in 2023 for a 16th consecutive year. Among the best-selling vinyl artists of the year include Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey and Arctic Monkeys.

The good news comes three months after a survey revealed that pressing vinyl has become too expensive for the vast majority of independent artists. Revisit DJ Mag's long form feature on the numerous issues that have threatened the vinyl revival.

Watch a new, 12-part series celebrating independent record stores in the UK.

Revisit DJ Mag's recent in-depth feature on the world of reissue labels here.